I love Mumbai. I also loved Bombay. Since it's raining now in Mumbai, just as it had rained in Bombay, I shall write about Mumbai and Mumbai rains.
You know how the skies get overcast and a cool zephyr lightly rustles palm trees and glassy smooth lakes? You know how you look up to the skies instinctively scrunching your nose and crinkling your eyes expecting a light drizzle to wet your face? And then, you know, how suddenly - there's no zephyr, no rustling, no poetic drizzle - there's a wham! bam! sploosh! downpour in which you are practically bruised? And if that doesn't hurt you, you step into a waterclogged pothole and have an auto screech two inches from your nose.
That is rain in Mumbai. Sigh!
Then, of course, there is the sea. You take a walk by the sea. You hope for the high tide because there is nothing as pleasantly disturbing as watching the sea swell and waves roll in steady undulating motions. You look at the curves and wrinkles and bends of the water and you stand hypnotized. The sea - the waves - the little rills - the..uh-oh...but wait..it's getting bigger...when did the freaking water body get on steroids? Hey! That's too close! You step back, you step back more ..now you turn and then...SPLAAAASH!
The last crashing wave gives a leery grin as it slowly recedes. 'You asked for it, babe', it seems to say. Watch closely and you'll see a giant aquatic grin.
That too is rain in Mumbai. Siiigh!
Anyway, rains can be draining (an awkward labored pun there!). The other night I had cramps in my stomach, feet, lower back, and I think several other vestigial organs. I was damp and moist and I think I had mushrooms growing behind my ears. The day had been perfectly foul and I had read a couple of articles about how wunnerful Delhi was, and how Calcutta was so fabulous and well, Bangalore...we are supposed to collectively go 'OOOOOH!' So basically I wanted to be anywhere but here in Mumbai.
Here's a trick I often use to get over discomfort in the city though - I try to see Mumbai from the eyes of a tourist and not as a city dreg. So I was looking at the wanton force that rattled shanties and windows of buildings and flooded railway tracks while I waited for the train. It was, by the way, the bewitching hour. With me, there were three guys in netted T-Shirts and rolled up trousers. There was a child running after a yellow plastic ball, a teen with no hands moving to the handicapped section, a beggar with no legs pulling himself to the wada-pav stall, a women in beige stilettos and a Samsung phone in front of the First Class section, and an assorted slice of humanity we refer to as 'middle-class.'
That's why I love Mumbai - no matter who you are or where you're at, you've got to move your a#$$ to get anything done. There is comfort in that...and a deep, strong affection. And I'm sure that’s the case with every other place as well.
I suppose, that's why the world is our oyster?