Saturday, August 06, 2011

The rains in Bangalore

There are three certainties to what happens to Bangalore when it rains. One, electricity will be shut down. Second, the weather will become noticeably cooler. Third, traffic goes for a toss.

There are multiple uncertainties as well - such as falling trees, stopping of traffic signals and sometimes the disappearance of traffic police as well...

The weather part is easy to guess. The electricity shutdown part is partly done from a safety perspective because Bangalore unlike Mumbai has very little underground electric lines - most lines are overhead which become a hazard with water and winds and falling trees. The third part is what I dont have an answer to.

When it rains - and this is at time of the day or any day of the week - traffic increases at a furious pace. The rate at which roads get clogged is exponentially proportional to the rains. And I have really never been able to figure out why that is the case.

Initially I used to think that the bikers who take shelter under any covered place available on the road caused it - but they are far too few in number to make traffic disrupt to such a large extent. Then my theory was that people who would normally walk or take the bus - decide to take rickshaws and taxis. (To some extent that is true - since it is my own experience that taxis are difficult to get when it rains.) But when with this as a combination, it is not enough to throw traffic out of gear so instantaneously. Especially considering that Bangalore rains, unlike Mumbai rains are nice and polite and stay like a well behaved guest in the city. Showers generally do not last beyond half an hour whereas in Mumbai the rain can last a week or more. Bangalore also experiences wild pouring rain not more than 15 minutes at a time - after which it becomes more like a nice tamed dog that you can take for a walk while singing romantic rain songs and enjoy chilli bhajji and tea somewhere.

One crazy hypothesis is that as soon it begins to rain, people, in a lemming like mentality take their cars and begin to drive  in all possible directions and clog up all the roads.

But this is an amazing thing about rain - and I am writing this at the fag end of a weekend shower that lasted for exactly 15 minutes - and has predictably thrown traffic out of gear, the weather has grown noticeably more pleasant and the electricity has gone off to take a short break at work.The traffic as I see it is a mess - almost a standstill and it will be like this for a couple of hours. How a 15 minute rain can stop the city and electricity and traffic each time, every time intrigues me. I dont have an answer. Do you?

(The post will finally be up when either the power supply or backup kicks in...)

1 comment:

Kavi said...

We have been having a hell of a struggle here in Mumbai !

Let us know if anyone has any solution !