Saturday, October 3, 2009

Miss The Monsoon

The month of October is upon us and the monsoon is about to get over. Sad! The dark monsoon clouds that made Mumbai thier home for the past four months or so, are finally on their way out, announcing their departure with full gusto, mostly in the evenings and nights. A lot of lightning to characteristically go along with it.

Alas, we humans are never satisfied. When its summer, we say enough of the heat; we want rains. When it rains, it's too wet we say. When will the rains go, we begin to wonder. We long for summer. Then, when summer is upon us, we get fed-up and wait for the winter to arrive. When winter comes, we shiver and long for the sun to come out. And when the sun finally comes out with gusto, we come back to square one and look up in the sky praying and hoping to get a sight of the monsoon clouds. Such are we. Such is life.

I like monsoon. I like rains. I like getting wet, though not drenched completely. But give me my balcony, a good monsoon shower and iPod and I am on board. Apart from the fact that a good rainfall in catchment areas around Mumbai is good for the city to save us from all those yearly dreaded water cuts, monsoon adds colour to Mumbai. It adds a lot of character and vibrancy to this city. It also inspires Bollywood to make either those underworld movies where dreaded gangsters chase one another through the narrow gullies of Mumbai underbelly under heavy showers or the mushy love stories where the boy mollycoddles with his girl dancing to a rain sequence. But most importantly, it gives a character to Mumbai. No wonder they say, come rain or shine, Mumbai never sleeps.

Here's what I will miss about Mumbai's monsoon...

  • That first shower in June to beat the cruel Mumbai heat. It is such a welcome sight. The temperatures almost instantly goes down a few notches and how we wish it remains there..
  • This used to be a major factor when I was in school and college when heavy rains in the morning lead to the closure of schools and colleges. Now that I am working, it doesn't matter much, but a day here or there off due to heavy rains can be a welcome sight. Especially if your boss sits in Delhi :)
  • If you want to see Mumbai, go to Marine Drive. If you want to see rains in Mumbai, go to Marine Drive. You think the sea is angry as it tosses and turns and throws water at us with gusto. But to the discerning observer, it sure sounds the sea is glad to have us on the other side and play some fun games with us. The waves splash on the promenade and glides all over the wide pavement, all the way to the main road, drenching everyone who dare come in the way. But no one is complaining. It's the ultimate pleasure and the best way to celebrate the Mumbai monsoon. It's very tempting to get off from your BEST bus or car or taxi if it's raining at Marine Drive and just to sit on the promenade and spend some time in solitude with only the sea and waves for company.  Other sea promenades such as Worli are also there for your pleasure, but none clicks like Marine Drive. 
  • Waiting at the railway station when it is pouring outside. As the train enters the station, you couldn't help but notice that the otherwise perennially open doors are closed- something of a rare sight in Indian Railways- and as you try to enter the compartment in a tearing hurry, can't help but get wet from the rain falling over us from the train's roof. 
  • Greenery and Mumbai apparently don't go well with each other, sadly. But whatever little greenery that's left, it sure gets lush and rampant.
  • There are few soothing sounds than than sound of rain falling. 
  • The sea of umbrellas on the streets. Especially near Churchgate station. Umbrellas of all colours, designs, shapes and sizes. 
  • That smell of earth just after a shower. We don't get this smell much in Mumbai, but at some places we still do. 

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