This year in Mumbai
We have the alert from monsoon-bhai
Stay indoor or get washed away
The weather-man warns almost everyday
Schools are shut to avoid a calamity
We all shiver under floods enormity
But as we gaze at the sky
It’s covered with black clouds that act sly
Light drizzles and showers in the name of rain
Even the ground water levels have nothing to gain
The city is reeling with water-shortage
While water logging is all over TV footage
The monsoon’s taken us all for a ride
This year it is Hi(gh)-tide, bye-tide!
Category Archives: Mumbai
This year in Mumbai
Today we have another bomb scare, this time its Vashi that’s been targeted. Some say they even found the bomb there and that it wasn’t just a rumour. The twitterati is buzzing with news about it, the net is flooded with images of Vashi people being evacuated from their offices and what not.
What strikes me in all this is that I find that people are talking about it in a very casual, okay manner. I don’t see any underlying thread of fear, anger or other emotion even close to outrage. It kind of gives a feeling that we have become accoustomed to it, we are so used to such incidents that it does not touch us anymore. The question here is – Should we let this happen? Shouldn’t there be an anger in us each time it happens, no matter how many times it happens?
I came to Mumbai just 3 years back. Before coming to Mumbai everytime we heard about such incidents in Mumbia we would sympathise and sometimes feel angry but only when we knew someone who had been directly been affected. I would see the news and images on TV for some days and then get on with life.Then when I moved to Mumbai I started taking the local trains.
One evening when I was standing in the train on my way back, holding on to the overhead support, looking out, my thoughts drifted to the local train bomb blasts that shook the city just a few years back. Images from the news coverage swam in front of my eyes and I was suddenly frozen, a shiver ran up my spine. An image of many hands hanging from the trains overhead supports froze in my mind and I thought to myself – they must have been standing here just as unaware as I am right now. I looked at the crowded compartment and wanted to run.
That was the first time I could feel what Mumbai had felt that day and since then. I felt angry, outraged, sad. I wanted to cry for the first time for all those who died, for all those who were waiting at home, for all those who could never complete their journey. I remember Mumbai had come alive with angry protests.I wonder if we still have it in ourselves.I wonder if the fire is still alive?
I am very much a mumbaikar now, coz I feel the pain, I feel the anger, I feel violated when tresspassers encroach into the lives of my fellow mumbaikars and make a joke out of it.
I live in Mumbai and have been subject to continous rainfall since last evening…sometimes light, most of the time very heavy. Most things have come to a stop including some schools, traffic, etc. However, one thing that the even the pouring rainfall could not dampen was people’s devotion to God.
This morning, as I was on my way back from my son’s play school (which turned out to be closed today), I was amazed at the sight of a looooooooong serpentine queue outside a temple, extending way out of the shaded area, extending at someplaces into the traffic. People were standing in raincoats, with umrellas, but still standing, devoutly, patiently, waiting for their turn. It made me wonder, what could inspire such devotion in people? People were queued up to thank God, to priase God, to complain, to ask for forgiveness, to ask favours…their reasons can vary but the devotion was unmistakable.
I was jolted out of my revier by a sudden tug on my sleeve. “Madame 5 rupay do na…nahi nahi madame mujhe 2 chalega…isko mat dena, mujhe dona” I found myself face to face with two tiny kids, about a couple of years older than my own son, drenched to their skin, each trying to outdo the other in their earnestness. I was suddenly swept with a fierce rage. Then right on heels came another emotion, I felt sad. I was confused. I was angry with God, who chose to give this life to these children, and I was sad coz ife had dealt them such a foul hand.
I thought to myself that if God cannot see this from above, then I don’t see the point of queuing up outside temples. Some people say, God has his own way, but I want to now what could he be thinking when he granted such a life to so many millions of children across the world. I really want to know.
When i first came to Mumbai an ex-colleague told me that in Mumbia people count their year by the number of monsoons they have seen here. So going by that count I am 3 monsoons old now.
My first monsoon was quite an interesting experience. I was just getting the hang of travelling on the local trains and congratulating myself on my success, when the rains hit my side of the world and all hell broke lose. Delayed trains, water-logged roads, perpetual drizzling that gets under your skin after a while and to top it all traffic jams!!! I somehow managed to survive them all. My second monsoons were much better as I was mostly confined to home, thanks to my newly-born baby…muuaaaahhh!! So not much to talk about really…except my mories of sitting by the window with the baby in my arms and rocking him gently while he gazed with wonder at the falling drops of rain!
This year I am 3 monsoons old…and I never thought I’d say it but I actually like it! Yes, I guess I’m turning into a Mumbaikar now. This year I am travelling, wroking, playing with my baby, all in the rains…and this time I don’t mind it so much. I hope I am not speaking too soon…coz its still 3 more months of rain to go! Yes, believe it or not it rains for 4 months here! We Dilliwalas (actually me an ex-Dilliwala) have no idea what a real monsoon is like. You have to be in Mumbai to know it.
I had visited Mumbai some years back in November. When I was oohing and aahing over the beautiful sea-view, a friend had told me I should come here in the monsoons…the sea is wild! After spending 3 monsoons here…I have finally started noticing these small beauties of this city which is so full of life!
Finally the monsoons are here and out comes my wishlist. Now since I’m new to the western ghats my list begins with places i must visit. So here it goes:-
- Matheran – I have been hearing so much about this place for the past 4years that I just have to see it this time
- Chiplun – Loved the scenery in Luch by Chance
- Sinhgarh – Have been there once, but wanna go again
- Goa – I’ve heard the sea goes wild in monsoons…
- Khandala (have been dying to go there since i heard Aamir Khan wooing Rani)
- Coorg – Had the most memorable time there some 3 yrs back…right in the middle of the forest covered hills…awesome
Now come other things, like:
- Tea in the hooded sheltre in the garden of my complex. Yes, Im among the lucky few who have an apartment complex with a garden in Mumbai 🙂
- Take my baby for his first monsoon shower (actually its his second but he was too lil last year to know anything)
- Go to Band Stand and enjoy the wet breeze sitting at one of the two coffee shops there
I guess that’s it for now…