Dum Dum Park and many other areas of Kolkata were flooded the last two days, with many of the roads — including the one in front of our Math — under a foot or two of water after the recent heavy rains swelled the local kundas (ponds) until they overflowed their banks.
Because of the many open drains and sewers, the water can be pretty gross in places — not something you want to wade through! Bicycle-drawn rickshaws are in big demand. It is easy to see how epidemics like cholera get started.
It is surprising how quickly the floodwater recedes though. It did not rain at all last night, and we awoke this morning to find the water slinking out the front gate of the temple compound and slowly sinking back towards the kunda in front of the Math, leaving muddy fingerprints wherever it had touched.
A few hours later we can see patches of asphalt through the murky water on the road outside. The first sun in days inexorably evaporates the water so that by midday most of the road is visible, and by early evening the water in the kunda is once again contained by its banks.
As the floodwater recedes, it is almost seems as though somebody has stealthily pulled the plug on a giant sink and is steadily draining the water out of the kunda, leaving a dirty ring around the tub.
So there is a little cleanup to be done, but at least Kolkata is now dry enough not to cause transport and other logistical problems for the expected influx of devotees arriving for Srila Guru Maharaj's Vyasa Puja next week.