June 18, 2008

Rains Again

Since I wrote my first post about Rains in Mumbai, it did not stop raining for the whole week. That was kind of depressing but not very scary, except perhaps on the first night. But it had its moments. Here are my top 3 favourites of the one week of incessant rains in Mumbai.

Watching the lightning play havoc across a dark sky at 2:00 a.m. in the morning – it was beautiful. The giant metal bridge connecting Mumbai with Vashi stood silently with few cars daring to venture out and the Lightning bolts having a field day. In a city like Mumbai only sea faces give you the luxury of viewing a horizon, but here I was standing alone on top of a bridge, rain splashing across my face, the water chilling my bones to numbness, my cabbie frantically calling me out thinking I intended to make the jump. That night I realized how unprepared we are for natural calamities but how stubborn we are to face anything that nature throws our way. Rows after rows of stalled taxis greeted me but there was always another one just ten meters away ready to pick a fare. Complete strangers shared an auto to reach home before the next day morning and though Mumbai was perhaps not ready for the rains I realized that Mumbaikars were.

The Nation of Shopkeepers – I see them every day at Andheri Station and every day I salute the spirit of entrepreneurship. Standing with their wares, shouting at the top of their voices, whether anyone was ready to listen or not. At Andheri Station you can find almost everything you want; so I wasn’t worried when the rains hit Mumbai. And I was right; in 24 hours Andheri station was full of people selling everything from umbrellas to jackets to rain proof mobile phone covers. The variety on offer was mind blowing. The shops were yet to get their stocks of monsoon apparels and gears. Now that’s a supply chain I would love to have working for me someday.

Being Gene Kelly – Mumbai allows you to be anonymous and do what you would not dare doing otherwise. So on a lovely windy Saturday I walked out to the bridge over Wadala and started walking (or maybe prancing) with my umbrella and my respect for Londoners grew. It’s a tricky task. You have to know how to move keeping the wind direction in mind. The wind plays havoc changing directions every five seconds and you have to anticipate from which side the next attack will come. After sacrificing one umbrella, (you guessed it right, brought from Andheri Station) and scaring away three women and four men (who thought I was going to attack them) I finally managed to understand the dynamics of walking in the rain.

Within 15 minutes it started raining and people ran for cover. I had the entire bridge to me and I started being Gene Kelly all over again :)

6 comments:

Surendra said...

Crazy but good :-)

wnwek said...

Banjoda, why not buy the raincoat instead, and then forget about the wind and umbrellas?

Madhurjya (Banjo) said...

@Malu - :)

@Vivek - Have you ever tried to get up on a Virar Local with a wet raincoat on? :) And I wanted to be Gene Kelly not Humphrey Bogart on that day.

wnwek said...

I am sure they move out of the way, anyway, when they see a well-nourished Bong heading for them. A wet well-nourished Bong, and they would be thinking what they did wrong in their previous lives...

Nope, it's not you who's going to have the problems.

Anyesha said...

Besh besh....but what about watching rain clouds move into the city from a far away place while sipping chai in a sea facing living room on the 15th floor? That's my favourite memory of Mumbai rains.

Soumya Sen said...

Don't dance on bridges too much, they can only cope with an expected amount of load and vibration. I hear the rains have caused havoc in the eastern parts as well, my brother's train got stuck in orissa and he had to travel to Kolkata in a Jeep, which he had to share with the infamous Anuj Roy. That's like a double dose of bad luck!