By Fareeha Qay­oom


fter the week­end, it’s fairly nor­mal for you not to want to join the fray…the weekly grind, the same old, same old bor­ing work rou­tine but this Mon­day, (August 8, 2011), it was more than the nor­mal Mon­day blues…I went to sleep around 4:00 AM (no sign of rains at Sehri or at day­break) but when I woke up to go to work around 8:00 AM, it was rain­ing cats and dogs.

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Rain drop falling on my head…Photo by Adnan Q. Qayyum

Shela, my sis­ter let me know, it had already been rain­ing like that for at least an hour…hmmm. Well, Adnan (my brother) and I started pro­cras­ti­nat­ing – nor­mally, we are ready to leave by 8:30 AM but this Mon­day? We were both kind of reluc­tant to leave home….finally, around 8:30 AM we had a con­fer­ence and decided to let our respec­tive bosses know we would be late because of rains…(Yes, I hate dri­ving in rains)! Once bit­ten, twice shy.

There was no let up. After an hour and a half, the rains had turned to a light driz­zle so we decided to leave for work. It was around 10:00 AM. Big mis­take – DHA main roads were flooded. Wal­ton Cantt area was too. The T-junction between Cav­alry Grounds, DHA and Cantt was no bet­ter. A tree was down. Traf­fic had been mov­ing at snail pace. A bus had bro­ken down too. It was hold­ing up traf­fic ‘coz it was parked smack, dab in the mid­dle of the fast lane…finally, we crossed the T-Junction and got stuck at the traf­fic lights on the cross roads before the Jin­nah Bridge. It took us about 20 –30 min­utes to cross this patch of the road.

After cross­ing the Jin­nah Bridge, Adnan advised me to take the Ali Zeb Road instead of the road that leads to Lib­erty, MM Alam Road and the Hus­sain Square. It was bound to be flooded. Well, another big mis­take. We were stuck in floods of water and Cen­ter Point cross­ing was no bet­ter. (Did I tell you, Adnan had been record­ing the events via his cell phone? He had been tak­ing pho­tos of back to back traf­fic, the floods, pud­dles, and what not?)

Cen­ter Point cross­ing was a total night­mare! I kept pray­ing the whole time I crossed this patch of the road. Adnan told me what­ever, I do I shouldn’t brake but should keep going…luckily, every­thing went okay and we were not stuck.  By this time, we had already spent more than an hour on the road already…Liberty Square was no bet­ter. It was flooded too. I dropped Adnan on the curb­side of the Main Boule­vard. I didn’t dare cross the patch of the road before the cross­ing at the Gaddafi Sta­dium to drop Adnan at his work­place. It was truly scary. He had to walk to his work place.

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Can’t remem­ber this spot in ret­ro­spect — some­where in Cantt?or is it near Lib­erty Square? Photo by AQQ

I decided to go over Ch. Zahoor Illahi Road from the main boule­vard to cross over to the Canal Road. Another night­mare of pud­dles and floods…finally, I was over the bad patch and on to the Canal Road. Things improved here. Did I tell you it was con­sis­tently driz­zling the whole time?

At the Canal road, it turned into tor­ren­tial rains for a bit. But no pud­dles or floods thank God; I could finally drive at 50 — 60 KMs per hour. My left foot had gone to sleep clutch­ing the clutch and brake the past hour! By the time I got to work, it was more than one and half hour drive. I got there 11:45 AM. My boss was pretty happy to see me which was kind of sur­pris­ing. First time, I was late and didn’t get a scolding…She hadn’t been expect­ing me yet. She thought I would start right after the rains and it was still raining…huh?

On the way back, it was pud­dles galore again. In fact, Gul­berg, Cav­alry Grounds and DHA con­tin­ued to be full of rain waters well into the night. How­ever, it wasn’t as bad as the morn­ing. But next day, the rain water had all gone down from DHA at least like it was never there …it was also hot and sunny. Cav­alry Grounds and Gul­berg were still bad in places…

I under­stand there is no city gov­ern­ment any­more – you know the feud of com­mis­sion­ers vs. Nazim thing and hence, no local func­tion­ing bod­ies at city levels…but what the heck, DHA is a soci­ety in its own right. They charge us enough money for the priv­i­lege of liv­ing here. They also have func­tion­ing drains that used to suck the rain waters from the roads before the year 2008. I don’t get it? What hap­pened to them? Did the man­age­ment change? Did the drains get clogged? How come the rains mirac­u­lously cleared overnight with­out the sun but didn’t do so in the full light of the day? Is there a spe­cial rea­son that DHA gets flooded each year now? Is this a sol­i­dar­ity thing?

Any­way, why can’t they save the rain water? Con­ser­va­tion is the new buzz word all over the world! Does that take a lot of invest­ment? Fun­nily enough, we know Pak­istan comes under the Mon­soon belt. Some­body should be work­ing on this but we seem to be never prepared…It’s so frus­trat­ing but heck, just an aver­age day in Pak­istan…■

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DHA — main road that con­nects Ghazi Junc­tion with B, C, W,X and Y sec­tors, Photo by AQQ

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DHA-Walton main boule­vard, Photo by AQQ

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Jin­nah Bridge, Photo by AQQ

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on Jin­nah Bridge, Photo by AQQ

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Another view of Jin­nah Bridge, Photo by AQQ

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Fir­dous Mar­ket Cross­ing? Photo by AQQ

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Fir­dous Mar­ket cross­ing, Ali Zeb Road, Photo AQQ

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Fir­dous Mar­ket cross­ing, traf­fic lights, Photo by AQQ


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