I know, I know Mumbai rains are to die for! Everyone gushes about the lovely weather Mumbaiites get to enjoy during the monsoon. It is a huge respite from the sweltering heat and everyone looks forward to it with great pleasure. But things are changing and it is never like it used to be. The very fact that the infrastructure in Mumbai is falling apart doesn’t help the Mumbaikar in a great way. I have never found the rains, especially in Mumbai, to be an ear shrieking, jumping -with-joy affair. Definitely not after being stuck up in one of the biggest floods some years back. This is definitely not how I envision the rainy season:
This happens only in the movies!
All I can think of is this:
When I was a kid, I hated the umbrella because it never served the purpose. I would trundle to school with a mighty umbrella so that I do not get drenched. The queue system in school ensured that the kids learn how to behave and wait patiently till the bell rings. However, the kid behind me would make sure that the raindrops trailing off his / her umbrella dripped right on to my head or my uniform’s sleeve. A fight would ensue and everyone tried their best to avoid each other’s umbrella. How I hated that!! Sitting all drenched in the classroom with four or five students packed on a bench was never fun. Ugh!
The uber cool rain boots (sigh) were even more pathetic. First, there were not much of color choices and designs to choose from like the ones we have today. There used to be solid colors like black or pink and I preferred black, don’t know why. The boots were high enough to make sure that my tiny nubile feet stay protected from the muddy waters. But alas, this never lasted for long. The rains would fall in every angular direction and thus gain entry into my precious boots and I would cringe. The funny sound it made would guarantee giggles as soon as I entered the classroom. Not very lovely memories of the rain…
As time passed by, I got better equipped to tackle the rains. Travelling by local trains during the monsoon is no small feat. The worst part would be to stand still, patiently, in the crowded trains while getting doused with holy rain water or getting hit in the guts with a phoren-made umbrella. Young college girls with long ferrule umbrellas resembling walking sticks don’t make life easier. And the never-ending fights in the famed Mumbai locals add spice to the damp weather.
But sometimes I do feel like walking in the rains when the weather looks pleasant. I have tried that, really, only to be doused by muddy waters from passing vehicles. The large potholes on the roads filled with yuck do not fit well in the romantic monsoon scene. The gait which I adopt during the rains resembles a child walking on a tight rope. I have heard of so many incidents where people have fallen into open manholes because someone stole the manhole covers for hard cash…Oops! So much for walking in the rains.
Apart from the occasional waterfalls, treks and hikes which people love to go for, there is nothing awe striking about the rains in Mumbai. The hardships which one has to deal with almost wipes off any pleasure the rain has to offer. I know many of us really love the monsoon and eagerly await this part of the year. We Mumbaiites are blessed with ample rainfall and should definitely make the best of it, but pray, tell me, can I ever get the pleasure of walking in the rain, without a hoot to care about…