Like the cloud messenger in Kalidasa’s Meghdoot, the advance lines are appearing on the horizons of Mumbai. When the monsoon clouds reach Kerala we know that we have to wait only for one more week. An end to the scorching summer and three months of blissful rain.
In fact sometimes it rains so hard that you cannot even hear the traffic. Oh well. It IS an urban jungle after all……
There is something peculiar about the rains in Mumbai. They isolate you and bring you together at the same time. You can be ten people crowded under an awning, waiting for the rains to slow down a bit, but each one of you will be having a different rain experience. Some wait impatiently, some enjoy it peacefully, some find it romantic. I am always amazed by how many people don’t seem to carry any umbrella and look slightly bewildered at the downpour.
The dark sky at noon, the thundering downpour, the flooded roads, but at every turning and every signal and every station, the Mumbaikars, with sarees held high, trousers rolled above knees, struggling with flapping umbrellas but doggedly trying to make sure they reach work on time.
Every year brings some new flooding and disaster forcing us to learn about mystifying things like BRIMSTOWAD http://indianexpress.com/article/cities/mumbai/rewind-brimstowad-partly-operational-even-11-years-after-inception-2838356/
and the fact that we have our very own river! (The Mithi River (a.k.a. Mahim River) is a river on Salsette Island).
The smell of the hot earth when the first drops fall on it has its own special name called saundhi khushboo. You can’t bottle memories but apparently you can buy this fragrance from a special ittarwala in Ahmedabad ! http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/ahmedabad/Now-get-mitti-ki-sondhi-khushboo-in-a-bottle/articleshow/3208802.cms
In glorious anticipation of the monsoon…..and the inevitable traffic jams and steaming hot tempers inside the floating cars, here is a list of 10 lovely songs for you to save and listen to. There are plenty more but these are delightful and not too commonly remembered.
And as a bonus this haunting track from Jagjit Singh