Today, the world is a beautiful, gossamer grey…as if one we were looking at it through a stocking. The sky is smooth and dull, in the manner of a peculiar whalebone that has been polished to perfection. It stretches comfortably over buildings, tree-tops and terraces. It stretches so very comfortably over that which we call ‘the expanse’. This whalebone polished sky expands over it all.
The rain that escapes from this fine sky is another story altogether. Rambunctious – like kids running past the gate on the last day of school. Hurried and with no motive other than ‘to simply get out of here’. And although it whips upturned faces and splices through fleshy, green leaves and pierces through grills and grates and pelts away indiscriminately, people understand. They nod and sigh and occasionally smile. After all, it is their time of the year.
This morning, a long car stands before mine at the toll booth. It is a beautiful shade of crimson. Like a chilli flake. When it moves again, inching slowly on the grey, wet road, it looks like a beautiful manicured nail caressing steel. Both hard…and hurtful, if you were careless.
Up ahead, the traffic is regular. Torrents pour down and a minor wave seems to be descending from the sky in little fragments. It’s getting darker by the minute and all the cars switch on their emergency lights. From where I am, the synchronicity is almost operatic. Specks of amber flash through sombre layers. Fiesty little dots. And almost festive. As if we were celebrating a different kind of Christmas. And far, far away, over and above tall buildings, I see tops of pretty palms swaying.
Driving in Mumbai during the rains is classic poetry.
Few read it, fewer understand it, and most will never know what they’re missing.