Mumbai. Radhekrishna Kunte, a senior bureaucrat with the BMC initially thought that a flash mob was dancing and spinning open umbrellas outside the BMC headquarters on Wednesday afternoon.
But when he had a closer look at the group, he found faces familiar to him, which is when his personal secretary pointed out that they were contractors from the northern suburbs of Mumbai.
Amazed by the vigor with which many of the pot bellied, half bald, pan-chewing men were dancing exactly the way peacocks are spotted after the first rains, Kunte asked his PA to dig out more about what was going on.
“I had almost finalized a land deal in Jaipur and had made a down-payment in cash to the owner. I was supposed to pay the rest by July 15. My wife and children were against me buying the land that cost a bomb, and we hardly had any cash reserves to pay further. But I was confident that the flyover in Kandivali, on which I carried out maintenance work, would flood and remind people of 26 July. I started getting sleepless nights as it just would not rain last month. But when I woke up today and found that it was raining, I was confident that I would make up for the deal,” Seth Hazariprasad explained to Kunte’s PA why he couldn’t stop himself from dancing.
Narrating his side of happiness, another contractor Jamadas said, “After bookies announced their rates on how much it would rain in June, I immediately hired 20 labourers for carrying out day and night water-logging operations. But all those guys did was play cards and smoke bidis for the entire month at my expense. I mean, I never trusted the met department, but even bookies failed!”
“Par aaj jab Mira Road mein ghutne ke upar tak paani bhara, tab jaan mein jaan aayi,” he added.
Saavan Patel, another contractor from Gujarat intermittently singing maaru man mor bani thanghat kare was heard saying, “They can love us, they can hate us. But they cannot ignore us. With God’s grace, if the rains continue for another 2-3 days, the city will come to a virtual halt and then we will be given the mammoth task of draining the water. All I can see is my labourers clearing the waters while I gift a luxury car to my girlfriend outside marriage.”
When an excited PA rushed to brief his boss about the situation downstairs, Kunte was found laughing and forwarding jokes on potholes in the city, most of them to the contractors downstairs.