Take a damp break
As my barefoot touches the promenade, my toes are bathed in the newly bequeathed rain. It gurgles, bubbling as I walk, soothing in its coolness. Monsoons are the most awaited festival in Mumbai. The various preparations done by people of all classes remind me of the festive preparation that families do, plastic sheets of many colours and the most prominent blue tarpaulins being used to cover a myriad of houses. The petrichor enhanced by the smell of street food, the bright umbrellas, it seems that the city itself is getting ready to greet the incoming monsoon. As I sit at Marine Drive, sipping my soul warming cutting chai and burnt bhutta, the pluviophile in me saw Mumbai in a whole new life.
A young couple strolled hand in hand, drenched in the rain with their pet protected by raincoat and gumboots trying to keep up the pace. A group of college students jamming to their monsoon playlist. A polished car pulled by, a corporate worker rolled up her sleeves and witnessed a view incomparable to her laptop screen as she clenched her resignation letter. As a family feasted over hot road-side bhajiyas , on old couple rekindled love by sharing the hot homemade samosas under one umbrella as the sea placed salty kisses on their cheeks. A policeman testing his gully football skills with the professional baccha party. As I saw the reflection of the splendid South Bombay architecture in a still puddle, I realized, the city that never sleeps can also take a cozy nap on a breezy Monday afternoon.
These moments, pass as photographs. Each morphing so perfectly into the next. My inner eye sees each water-petal among the many, airborne in the briny breeze as translucent confetti. Then as if the almighty pressed "play" - they continue their journey in real time, companions in companionable silence. In spite of terrible honking, incessant rain, waves hitting the rock, there was a peaceful silence in the Mumbai monsoons. Mumbai monsoon has become a living fabric, something I can reach my hand through and let my fingers play in. It reminds me of being in a car with the window open, my hand surfing the fast-moving air.