Mumbai essentially has just two seasons… a perennial Summer which finally gets clouded in Monsoon. With a sporadic week or two of Winter thrown in. Nothing to complain though …… am much in love with this Maritime climate. I guess not just me but most of us, Mumbaikars are completely attuned to this climate. It is the late sultry Summers’ that become unbearable. The air becomes rancid and heavy with humidity. We wait in much anticipation just like the Pied Crested Cuckoo (Chatak) for just one shower to give us the much needed respite from the blazing Summer.
Mumbai’s blind date with Monsoon often ensures a whirlwind affair….. a chaotic one at that.
The traffic on road being the most affected. As it is, round the year the Mumbaikars have to endure a pathetic road traffic on a daily basis, it only worsens with the onset of Monsoon. With potholes as big as craters ….subways being half submerged in water…water logging at the most unwarranted places….overflowing high drains…bottle-necks…..unnecessary traffic snarls….long haul jams…only aggravates the already hapless traffic woes.
The lifeline of the Metropolis – the railways, which otherwise is able to ease a considerable portion of the road traffic also runs amok. As a result of submerged railway tracks the trains remain stranded for long hours. Everyday schedules go for a toss.
Stagnant water… clogged drains…overflowing manholes…swarming insects…temperature fluctuations and even wet clothes on the clothesline are reasons enough to cause serious ailments. Children being easy victims. It wrecks havoc on their health.
Though the authorities and the State machinery do their best to tackle the situation but chaos reigns large.
A glum story, right? No it is not. Though the weather is damp and gloomy, it does little to dampen our spirit. It is the indomitable spirit of “ Aamchi Mumbai” that keeps it going. We get to see the fairer side of people. More accommodating and helpful. More humane.
I believe rain cleanses our Earth, our mind and Soul. It is therapeutic. Just an umbrella, held above two heads is enough to create the magic. Sitting on the promenade at Marine Drive gazing at the rains prancing on the Sea is a sight to behold… Just a walk , hand in hand, under the thin drizzle in the by lanes munching on a corn-cob is a delight , am sure you would not be wanting to miss out on.
A pair of hiking boots and a windcheater will just suffice for the mesmerizing Shillonda trail in Sanjay Gandhi National Park. You may even go for a nature- walk at Gilbert Hill. For an extended weekend, there’s an array of Monsoon retreats to choose from at motorable distance from Mumbai. After a long week of toil and grind, the getaways are soul feeders.
A long drive in the dead of the night (preferably, so that the roads are relatively empty) with the torrential downpour lashing against the windshield and some retro music to melt your heart.……Or may be just sipping a cup of coffee in a quaint old café in Bandra and seeing the World go by ……is my kind of happiness.
Though nothing really beats having a piping hot cutting- chai with bhajjias at the comfort of your balcony while chit-chatting. Now, now, am tempted just at the thought of it ….what keeps you waiting? Go… while it lasts. You may not be in Mumbai but…someplace…somewhere…the RAINS will just as beautiful and tranquilizing.
“ I love the rain.
I love how it softens the outline of things.
The world becomes softly blurred,
…and I feel like I melt right into it”