Friday, 6 June 2008

Mumbai Monsoon Mania

I just heard monsoon has hit Bombay. The mere thought of the city drenched in its first showers brings a smile to my face. I love Bombay monsoon despite all the chaos it has created in the last few years. While a little bit of sunshine brings a new aura to London, monsoon completely alters the personality of Bombay. In my mind, during the rains, the city of Bombay transforms from being a giant chugging to a daily routine into an agile serpent slithering through lush green fields.

I am witness to Bombay being anything but nimble during rains. However, what this season does to the city is tremendous (hence my comparison of the two extremes which may not be apt but convey my point). The heat is replaced by cool winds both tender and fierce. Strong rays of the sun give way to soothing and roaring grey clouds that envelope the surroundings in their embrace. Waves of the Arabian Sea caress the shores of the city, sometimes drenching the passersby in sheer wet bliss and on other sad occasions pulling away happy souls into the deep depths of the oceans far away.

There are two sides to every coin and there are two sides to the Bombay monsoon. It has its fury and it has its pleasures. The rage can be tamed if the municipal corporation would pay some attention but there is no substitute for the excitement and elation that the rains bring along. I long for the days when I can walk on Worli Seaface, eat freshly roasted corn, drink coconut water and wait for the waves to hit the road and soak me wet. I would love to roam the by lanes of fishermen’s colonies in the slush as all folk are indoors, giving a true insight into their lives. I cannot wait to wade through the knee high waters to reach my destination. It is all about getting stuck and still finding your way out. It is about seeing the city through a different lens and feeling a new buzz which makes you feel lucky to be there and lucky to be alive.

I have had my days of being stranded for a whole night unable to reach home. I have come across instances when the already clogged traffic has started to move at a pace slower than a snail’s. Frustration, infection and commotion have all been a part of my dozen and odd monsoons in Bombay. However, what has stood out is the intoxicating smell of the soil soaked in rain; it is the feel of the rain drops washing away the heat and bringing new hope; it is the vision of all that is cheerful and beginning to bloom. I remember the waterfalls that spring out of nowhere on the Western Ghats. I can still recall the hills surrounding Lonavala dancing in all their green glory. I miss the singing rain pouring from the heavens above. In short, I miss the rain and especially on the plains of Bombay.

PS: Some advice from the Bombay police. See the following link

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