Sunday, July 11, 2010
A philosophical/practical aspect of rains in Mumbai
There was no sign of rains.. I got down from the bus.. and had to walk 100 meters to reach the office.. talking to a friend about when the rains will start. He said, "you can never know.. rains in Mumbai is totally unpredictable.“ Surprisingly, at the very pause of his dialogue I felt rain drops falling on my head. Rains arrived, and within two seconds of arrival, it compelled me to run to a safer place - under a roof.
The whole day I was in office. In the evening I left for home. On the way, while I was in the bus, I saw couples walking under a single feminine (extremely colorful) umbrella.. conversing.. smiling.. wearing three-fourths, slippers. On the way, I saw many such scenes. It always feels good to see such positive side of life. Thanks to the rains which brought it out. Small children from the slums near Powai were sailing paper boats in the water-flows. They were so happy.. girls were in small frocks and boys wore tiny half pants only.. no foot wears.. some were kicking the water while singing some song which I couldn't hear due to the traffic noise.
It was raining heavily when I reached the station. Without a wind-cheater, without an umbrella, I had to walk to the platform which was again 100 meters away from where the bus stopped. I got drenched fully in just 5 seconds after getting down from the bus. Shivering and protecting my eyes from the rain drops, I moved forward. On the way, what I saw was that people with umbrellas, wind-cheaters are shouting, "give me one Vada Pao", "give me one Samosa Pao" at a snacks stall. Wow, they are so happy. I telephoned one of my friends in Orissa, and asked, "Is it raining there?" She said, "No, it's so hot over here." And counter-questioned, "Why, is it raining there?" I said, "Yes, it is. And I have got drenched fully." "O wow, you are so lucky. But don't be outside for long. You may catch cold.", she said. "Ok", I said, and disconnected the phone.
After climbing 20 stairs and getting down 20 stairs, what I found on the platform was really shocking. There were so many people waiting for the train. I heard someone saying, "Trains are running one hour late." And then, three trains came and went in a gap of 15 minutes each, but I couldn't dare getting inside. However, some people managed to get inside even with the Vada Paos in their hands. I wonder if that is what called "struggling" in Mumbai - getting into overcrowded trains while eating Vada Paos, and still shouting, "Ganpati Bappa! – Moriya!"
Finally a train came which was considerably less crowded than the ones just left; however, on a normal day, I wouldn't have chosen this one as well. So I got into the train only to be in it for next two hours for the journey that usually took me 40 minutes daily. Getting a seat was impossible. On top of that, the train stopped after every five minutes. After a few minutes, people were done with their Vada Paos, other snacks; talking to friends over the phone was also over. So everyone was busy in looking at each others' faces. People who were standing started dozing and people who were sitting were browsing through their age-old phones, maybe to discover something new even now. It was damn hot inside. Wind-cheaters were on, getting some space to remove them was impossible. Everyone was sweating.
Though it took me two hours more that day, I was happy that I could at least reach home. The only thing I did after reaching home was that I had my dinner and went to bed. The next day, when I got up, it was raining heavily again. I called up the same friend in Orissa and asked her, "Is it raining there now?" She gave the same answer, "No yaar, it's so hot over here.", asked the same question, "Why, is it raining there now?" "Yes, it is. You are so lucky", I said. She was confused as usual. I disconnected the phone without giving any clarifications as usual.