Bombay has two seasons – sweat and wet. The sweat “flows” from probably October to May (do not hold me against this. Subject to approval from weather gods). And then to alleviate the suffering of the poor tireless souls of Bombay, the heavens open up. The first week (at maximum) you will see people actually enjoying the rain. Thats due to the insufferable heat of summer. After that, it just starts getting worse. Never has gone a year where the entire city has not come to a standstill due to excessive rain.
We generally act as weathermen ourselves in these trying months of summer. The need arises mroe out of sheer frustration born due to relentless heat. The timing of the first monsoon in Bombay is generally about a month from when Kerala gets their first monsoons. Pretty accurate thus far I must say. Then the rain arrives and a general sigh is relief is heaved all across the city.
They say “Cometh the hour, cometh the man”. Thats so true with the Municipal Corporation of Mumbai, the infamous BMC. Love him or hate him, he is your rescuer. Be it the potholes, the open drainage manholes, he is the one who brings the zing into your lives every monsoon. The train service is the backbone of the functioning of the city. If they come to a halt due to flooding, invariably implies that day is declared a holiday. A very common occurence, so say my fellow Bombaykars. But an annual occurence none the less.
Floods occur everywhere when people wade through mucky waters. But my worst experience of a Bombay flood was undoubtedly the 26/7 catastrophe. Nearly 1000mm of rainfall in a couple of hours and a high tide to match. Recipe for disaster no doubts. And the walk from my college to my aunt’s place of about 23km took me about 6 hours of walking. This walk was not all smooth. I am not the most gifted person with respect to height. And that came back to bite me. The water was upto my neck and I would not vouch for the contents of the water. Keep in mind the boobytraps in the way :read open manholes, no cellphone coverage, and the use of an umbrella in a crowded flooded street was frowned, sometimes heavily abused upon.
But after an adventurous endevour, I finally made it. Wet, drained, hungry, sleepy, and now out of adjectives. All I wanted was a hot cup of tea, a couple of biscuits and a pillow, and I would be in heaven. And bless my Aunt and Uncle for providing me “heaven”. I could not go back to my house for nearly 3 days after. But this was an unforgettable experience and now that I am in the US, I miss these small pleasures. One thing that does amuse me about the americans is their fear of the weather. They warn us of flashfloods and these “flashfloods” dont go above my ankles.
Bring back oh bring back oh bring back my Bombay to me. Just once…….