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Wet, wretched peasants stare sullenly at the rising floodwater as it laps against their squalid little hovels.

Wednesday, October 8th, 2003

Kolkata, West Bengal, India

Flash Floods

Water, water everywhere

Well, it rained steadily all day yesterday and all night last night. Early this morning, Acharya Maharaj announces that the Nasigram village program has been postponed until at least next week.

After breakfast, Siddhanti Maharaj and I catch the 10:25 express train back to Kolkata. This train is a little more comfortable than the one we came down in: the seats are wooden, not metal.

I buy a copy of the Times of India which has a color picture on the front page of a rickshaw wallah in Kolkata pulling a fare along a road covered in about six inches of water; apparently it has been raining heavily throughout Bengal and Orissa, and Kolkata and many other areas are flooded.

In a number of places alongside the railroad track where the kundas or ponds have overflowed their banks, we see roads under water and wet, wretched peasants staring sullenly at the rising floodwater as it laps against the entrances of their squalid little hovels and lean-tos.

This express train does not stop at Dum Dum station so we go all the way to the end of the line, Sealdah station, in Kolkata. We get a taxi back to Dum Dum Park, but the driver cannot take us all the way to our destination because the Tank Number Three kunda across the road from our Math has flooded, and the water is too deep for his cab.

He drives Siddhanti Maharaj and me to the nearby Bangur Avenue, which is also flooded, but the water is not as deep. Pedestrians, holding their dhotis above their knees, wade slowly through the streets. We get a rickshaw from Bangur Avenue, and we alight at the Math into about a foot of water. The water is all the way up to the first step of the temple.

I have never seen anything like this, but then I have never been to India during the rainy season before. We go upstairs to inform Srila Gurudeva of our arrival and to pay our respects.

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Layout by imonk — October 8th, 2003.