My day started as ordinarily as it could be. Here in the summer days of Calcutta nothing really changed. The heat was ferocious and the need for water pestered you, but the monsoon was supposed to be starting. Anyway, I woke up around 6:45 a.m. I went to the bathroom and at 7:03, I put my yellow slicker on and headed outside for my morning trip to the “Big Bazaar.”
I called an auto-rickshaw to my side and told the driver to take me there. When we arrived, he asked me for 20 rupees and grunted. I gently handed him his money and walked on. Racket filled my ears; “Mangoes! Mangoes! 10 rupees! Ripe mangoes! Mach! Mach! Fish! Fish! Elish Mach! Tangra Mach! Tilapia! 18 rupees per kilo!
I walked on my original route to the mango stall first, then the coconut and last the fish stall. I sipped sweet and refreshing mango juice and adjusted my sandals. BAM! Lightning slashed across the grey sky and rain poured down. More rain slithered out of the clouds and people became frightened, dropping bags of groceries all over the road. Splosh! I slipped and fell into the ankle high water. Cows were running across the roads and stray dogs sprinted along the curbs, which made the people even more frightened. I was all muddy and wet after the fall. I had no time to lose – the water was getting knee high and had started to flood the entire market. It was a definite flash flood!
I waded through the muddy water and tried to get to higher ground. A piece of plywood and baskets of vegetables floated past me. At last I reached the bus stop and was able to get onto a bus. The bus was loaded with angry and wet people. Men shouted and yelled about who should go where. After fifteen minutes we arrived at a school house. We quickly hopped out of the bus and sprinted towards the doors. I rested against the wall and dried off with a towel given by a volunteer. We ate rice and curry. After a few hours the rain stopped and I arrived back at my flat… safely.
Wait? Where are my groceries and why is my fridge empty!?