The summers of 2016 have been very hot and humid for Mumbaikars and its not that the earlier summers have been a bit charitable. However, as people sweat out in the heat and drain themselves out over the period from March to May, the last month peaking in terms of humidity, the most awaited event is the news of rains hitting Kerala. This news brings along hope for the dehydrated Mumbaikars that respite is round the corner…within a week of rains reaching Kerala, Mumbai usually gets its first rains.
This year has been no less different; rains have finally blessed Mumbai, or so it seems. The morning witnessed good rains, but as I write now nearing noon, the rains have disappeared.
Nevertheless, since it is monsoon time, a few thoughts on the typical rainy season of Mumbai is in order.
Mumbai’s first date with rain is always a chaotic affair. Mumbai’s lifeline, the local trains are the first casualty. And regardless of how many people write and how many efforts on record the Municipal corporation and railway authorities take, chaos reins and if it were not to be so, then the opening charm of Mumbai’s rainy season would not be there.
Not to be left behind in contributing to opening chaos are the infamous traffic jams, which get glorified on day 1 of the rainy seasons. One wonders what leads to such snarls when it rains in Mumbai. Mumbai’s driving community has not ever been known to be adherent to driving etiquettes and a downpour adds to the already existing impediments to driving on Mumbai’s roads.
Schools in Mumbai re-opening coincides generally with the arrival of monsoons. A Mumbaikar has to go through the school days as a student himself and then as a parent when he or she has to worry about how his ward would reach school and then back home when it rains. And when it rains in Mumbai, it does not simply rain…it pours.
Mumbai’s rains are not only about chaos, snarls and worries about reaching home safe and sound…Mumbai’s rains also have that romantic aura associated with it. Getting drenched, a walk down the Marine Drive, the pounding sea waves that rise in the sea and land on the coastal roads, the onion bhajias on the street side, Bhat’s adrak ki chai, the cool winds, sometimes blowing strong enough to shift you an inch on the road…Mumbai’s rains are a fantastic experience for those who have gone through every aspect of the rainy season.
Let us hope for a rainy rainy season…let there be rains, let there be water…let the land and the human get drenched in the downpour…have a great rainy season Mumbai!
(Credits for pictures to various sources)