Wednesday, July 27, 2005

The Mumbai perspective

So after a week's break at home, it's back to work, and rain is the main theme these days. Now rain is something that is best enjoyed at leisure. However,between Monday and Friday since leisure is about as common as a three-rupee note , suffice it to say that you will probably not enjoy it at all unless it's the weekend.
This is especially so since Bangalore is surprising ill-equipped to deal with anything in the nature of rain other than a delicate, wispy shower that falls gently enough not to damage our fragile roads. But what about Mumbai? Pictures of miserable people wading through streets turned into rivers, people missing work because the trains aren't running...this is regular fare every monsoon.
It also reminds me of a story a friend told me about visiting Mumbai last monsoon. He and a friend went to a bar to get a drink on a night when it was pouring heavily even by Mumbai standards. Almost everything was flooded. They waded through knee-deep water to get there. Inside the bar, the water was ankle deep, but the place was crowded. The rain didn't let up, but neither did the crowd.
Pretty soon, they saw ashtrays and stuff floating along in the small flood inside the bar. But people folded their pants up to their knees and carried on enjoying their drinks and conversations like it was the perfectly normal thing to do. Waiters negotiated expertly amidst the rip-tides and currents around the tables, and a jolly good time was had by all.
Well, that's Mumbai. And that's about as corny and as perfect a metaphor for life as I can come up with at the moment. This story does help me keep it in perspective, and I hope it continues to do so when the really heavy rains start, as I have been told they will soon.


geminian said...

First things first : Warm Welcome after a break;

When i talked to my mom yesterday she said its pouring heavily at my home town and also its raining heavily in Mumbai and even the news channels and internet portal
confirms the same and even she asked about my place ?

The monsoon has finally arrived in Mumbai . One of the best things about Mumbai is the monsoon when after a hot humid summer, rains tend to cool everything. The summers in Mumbai are hot and humid. The ACs, coolers and fans never shut down but the worst thing is it badly disrupts the day today life of mumbaikars but at the sametime the locals are happy about the rain.

During my stay in mumbai was really an amazing experience as i should quote. For some strange reason, the first rain was always supposed to be on 8th June. No particular reason. Even if it was the first drizzle, it had to be 8th June. Hope Rain God still remembers the date.

When the rain pours and the cold wind blows and everything becomes wet, that is the time when you make your trip to the near-by Vada Pao stall. A hot Vada pao with a
cutting chai is the menu to be. If you can get onion bhajias and hot chilly chatni, then its real heaven. Its fun when you stand under the tarpaulin fluttering in the wind trying hard to save your vada pao and chai from the rainwater. I remember how many vada paos and chai I have relished in the cold Mumbai monsoon and ofcourse some kanda bhajiya (onion dumplings, usually served with a red, spicy garlic chutney)? takes the chill out of the rain out of you...

ashmitasaha said...

hey- just stumbled upon your post. Wanted to mention that your writing is amazingly articulate. T'was a pleasure readign your post.

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