Not a good moment to be out and about on the roads of Gulburg and Defence
By Fareeha Qayoom, photos by Adnan Q. Qayyum
ing…ring…ring…a cousin woke me up at 7:00 am today. Apparently it was raining and she wanted a lift to work. I didn’t appreciate being woken up this early in the morning. I told her grumpily – “I’ll see what I can do – will call you back shortly!”
I wasn’t looking forward to driving in this rain…unfortunately for me, back in summer 2008, we got stuck in rain waters on the main boulevard, Gulburg early in the morning on the way to work…the experience has stayed with me. Every time it rains, I get a flashback.
It was not a good experience. The car got stuck in waters, the rainwater got everywhere; even inside the car because there was a hole right under the pedals somewhere; the fan belt frayed and broke down so the car would not go. We had to call our mechanic to come and rescue us, luckily he lived nearby and joined us in a couple of hours – we spent five long and frustrating hours trying to get from point A to B on the main boulevard and eventually made it to the workshop on Waris Road; got the car fixed and even sent it back to get the hole plugged later on. My boss thought I was making up the story to get a half day off – in total frustration, I remember I decided to do a photo-story on the havoc the rains caused in Gulburg for Valuemag – I wanted the city government to sit up and take notice and for my boss to believe me, things were actually this bad in the city!
This morning, with all this running at the back of our minds, Adnan (my younger bro) decided that we would leave an hour after the rain stops. It stopped raining around 11:00 am. We got ready and left for work just before noon. My cousin decided not to join us. Unfortunately for me, I still haven’t learnt how to drive in deep waters…sector B, DHA was practically flooded. We took our usual short cut through sector B which became a total nightmare in five minutes. I tried to detour to less deep waters but I had to brake which was not good. I have been told not to brake when in deep waters but I couldn’t help it – anyway, the watery patch proved too long – the car stalled and wouldn’t go…kept shutting down. The mechanic had never plugged the hole under the pedals – the car was totally flooded. My jeans and shoes were water logged.
My brother by this time had lost all patience with me and was quite stroppy. We called for help; called the office to advise them of this latest development. The help was taking too long to arrive so eventually, Adnan pulled up his pants, took off his shoes and socks and pushed the car for a bit till we reached comparatively a drier patch. I parked the car and we waited it out. To pass the time, we opened the bonnet to see how far the water had gone up through the engine. Imagine our surprise when we saw the top of the engine was wet too…and there was a bit of leaf sitting pretty on top of the carburetor!
The sun came out. We had to sit for about half an hour or more. The engine had dried out a bit so the car started again…I ran the engine for good fifteen minutes, practiced my braking technique and decided to go back instead of forward because I don’t think I could cope with another ‘stupid’ moment – Gulburg was bound to have some more – Adnan’s workplace is always flooded, especially the Liberty Traffic circle en-route. He helped me take a few photos to record this ‘stupid’ moment in time and we ran the car back but took a different route home, which was comparatively drier.
There was another bad watery patch on the main road on the way to sector W – I kept praying the whole time I drove back. The car brakes were a little slow to respond; I had lost all my confidence in my ability to drive in such conditions and even this small patch of water on the main road was a huge nightmare to drive through for me. I have a few choice words to say to my mechanic as well. He was supposed to have plugged the hole since he charged me for it! Not that this stupid moment was a cause for complaint, (there are worse things happening in the world right now; unexpected snowing in South America and heavy rains, landslides and broken dams in China, what was a little rain in comparison?) It just made me feel like a total failure.
I wish ‘they’ (the respective governments) would fix the drains and store the rain waters instead of letting it flood all over the place though and plant some trees all over the world so the climate goes back to normal instead of behaving like a wild child.
Hello, City Government and DHA, United Nations and the developed world– are you listening? I am talking to you!!! ■
Editor’s note: Be sure to check out the following news logs for the latest updates on Pakistan floods.