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Megha and monsoon mayhem



NEW OUTLOOK: The unprecedented rains in Mumbai has changed Megha's perpective of life.

MUMBAI: : Over the last two days, Megha Vakharia has realised there is more to life than just tennis. That there are times when match points and double faults don't mean a thing, and one is lucky to just be alive. Thanks to the fury of the monsoon.

It was 2.30 in the afternoon on Tuesday when 20-year-old Megha went to the Juhu Beach with her friends Sasha Contractor and Pratim Parikh, also a tennis player.

The weather was pleasant with cool winds. But by the time her friends and she reached the sea in half an hour, it had become a violent storm.

``There was no sand there, the waves were pulling in. I have known from incidents when my cousins were caught in such situations, so I told my friends that we should immediately leave the place,'' Megha said.

But if she thought she had escaped danger, what followed was more devastating. Their car was completely drowned when they returned. "We had parked our car at some distance from the beach. When we came back it was full of water. We took the phones and other valuables, and there was no other way but to walk back.''

The roads were flooded, and the rain continued to hammer down with brute force. There was no question of going home which would take at least 2-3 hours during normal rush hour. Sasha's place was the nearest, two lanes away.

So they went there. But that short distance seemed a long road down the hell. ``There were dead bodies floating,'' Megha said, her voice still shaken.

No phones

Once home, she tried to call her parents. But then there was no electricity and no phones were working. Megha finally reached home the next day. Her father soon arrived after spending the night in the car.

``I think I am, we are, lucky, extremely lucky. I can only imagine what the millions who live in makeshift homes would have gone through,'' Megha said.

The rains have changed her perspective on life in general and sport in particular.

``I had always thought it to be child's play. Now I will never go out in rain. I'm happy for all those who didn't go through this at all, and hope this never happens again to anyone.'' — PTI

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