The storms have brought with them a deluge of rain and muck, infiltrating every street, nook, and corner of the city. Heaven has flung her doors open and has poured her heart out, apparent from the continuous rains for the past two weeks. It’s marvelous, it’s wonderful, and it’s dirty.
I love the rains, and how it affects the city. Everything is so much greener and brighter; buildings look cleaner, and people seems more relaxed and at ease. There is a crisp smell in the air, as the beating rain cuts into the smog and aerial filth that envelopes the metropolis we call Mumbai. The sound of the rain, beating against the windows, reminds me of an earlier time; a time of frivolity and carelessness. It reminds me of a time of simple things, where life did not overwhelm you with all its miseries and complaints.
I watch from my window how people huddle around the “chai wala” or the tea stall, sipping their concoction of sugar, milk, tea, watching the rain unleash itself on the city. At the corner of the street, some of the street urchins are taking a shower in the rain, cleansing themselves of all the grime that has accumulated during their time, begging on the streets, in the humid summer. They have not a care in the world. Down the road, people are trying to shelter themselves from the rain, clutching their umbrellas as close to their bodies as possible. It’s a harmony of visuals.
This time around, the Mumbai rains have churned something inside of me. There is a certain restlessness, an existential angst, you may say, that is making me more comfortable with this city. I do not how to explain it. It’s as if the rains are like water to a plant, nurturing the plant in a very rich and significant way. With every drop that hits the ground, I am being asked to stay more grounded and dig my heels deeper into life in Mumbai. And I am graciously learning to do so…
On another note, I am struggling with all the filth that is ever so present, and more so accentuated by the rain. The mosquito population seems to have risen to a gazillion mosquitoes a square foot; and mosquito bites are just not fun!! The number of houseflies that invade every inch of the road, and eventually enter your home (when you keep the windows open to enjoy that nice, cool, wind) have quadrupled. Tree branches and other debris scatter the city, piled up for ages, before the municipality can get to them. Check out the few pictures I took:
It’s tough to be walking down a street with all this debris, being attacked my mosquitoes and what not. But the good news is, unlike last year, these things do not bother me so much. I guess I am beginning to accept these annoyances as the shadow side of the rain. I suppose with every positive, there is also a negative, an unpleasant side. And we all have our shadows, and the more they are explored and embraced, the brighter we can shine and emerge.