Tuesday, May 19, 2009


Anyone who has lived in Bombay long enough can tell you when the rain won’t come. We are experts at predicting when it won’t happen. Come the last few days of May and all of humanity has had enough of the heat and the sweat. And of the dull monotony that stark afternoon sunlight brings. Mangoes have been consumed, the raw ones pickled. Juices with ice cubes floating in them had by the gallons to make the throat sick. The last few days of May are the summer that deprive us the joys of the season without affording its pleasures.

As reports of drizzles come in hopes turn heavenwards. The first of June is awaited with a fervor bordering on the religious, but like all other things Indian, the rains are late. Veterans then remark that the rains never arrive on the first, and that the one time they did come on that day, in the 50’s, the rest of the season was bad. “Monsoon hits Kerala” newspapers exclaim a few days into June and then the real countdown begins. Three Kasargode, five Uttar Kanara, seven Karwar, nine Goa. The wait becomes irresistible, unbearable and the rains seem sadistically within reach but away.

Vacationers will come back with tales of how they encountered a few stray showers on the ghats, or how their seaside weekend was spiced up by the sudden prattle of premature showers. And all we can do is sigh at their luck, and beseech the fan to miraculously cool us faster. A few more days of dogged heat and listlessness and then action suddenly comes to the backyard. “It rained in Uran yesterday” a Port trust official would blurt out, in the manner of revealing a state secret. “My cousin living in Panvel said that it s raining there now”, the bai would chip in excitedly. Reports would come in from seaside urbania all around Mumbai. Pen, Alibag, the ghats near Pune, the Ggats near Kalyan, Vashi.

Tomorrow. The experienced would nod their ascent. And paving the way for the anticipated tomorrow would be a day far stickier than any other day of the season. I never knew if it is really a meteorological phenomenon that makes the day hotter and more fetid or it is simply the minds preparation for a new season. The heat at its zenith, humidity at a naturally impossible hundred and the first could sighted. Like the climax of a movie life then moves in slow motion. The eye impatiently scans the skies for the pregnant clouds, but there are none to be found, and almost magically the clear sky turns murky, the smell of mud assaults long before the first drop wets the earth.

Like a slow orchestrated ritual culminating in a bedazzling climax the rains hit Bombay. As the dispossessed shriek and run headlong into the spray.


aditi said...

BRBer u didnt mention my

even as i comment on ur post....here in " namma bengaluru"

its raining heaven !!!!

i can see that tree near ma office swing to the wind n rain...as if the gods r playing moosic and those tress r dancing to the tune.......

Gradwolf said...

well, if its minds preparation, it doesn't work in Chennai!

And I remember June 7th is widely considered to be the D-day for Bombay. But only on paper.

swatimala said...

tht made me wish 4 the rains

i guess mumbai weather must b tuff 2 take after US of A

maxdavinci said...


You put the B in blogging my frnd...

Hasn't it always been that waay? two weeks for the rains to reach mumbai once it hits kerala

buddy said...

@aditi: err why must i mention bengaluru?
nice description of the rain though

@gradwolf: i remember it rains in chennai just as one is about to light a firecracker..always

@swatimala: no mumbai weather is just fine!

@max: clouds slowly moving up the coast..almost poetic

Nandini Vishwanath said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Beautifully written! :)


Prashanti :) said...

lovely !!! makes me want to soak even in the ever present mississippi rains :)

kusublakki said...

'Like a slow orchestrated ritual culminating in a bedazzling climax the rains hit Bombay.' Beautiful sentence!!

I missed the mangoes and the roadside juices this year :(

Its been pouring here..but its not even half as fun as the rains in India.

Have fun :)

Anonymous said...

Did I ever tell you that your prose is poetic enough and you need not worry about writing poetry? Poetry in rain!! Awesome!

Liberal said...

Missing Mumbai so much, u being there adds insult to the injury of me not being there!

dandilsa said...

I love your writing style..I loved the last couple of lines especially!And yay! I finally manged to get a comment in..

buddy said...

@saranya: thanks

@Prashanti: go ahead then! soak yourself!

@kusublakki: the rain is more alive here no?

@sthitapragnya: too much praise! thanks :D

@liberal: :s sorry man!

@dandilsa: ty, ty and is it so difficult to comment?

Vibushan Lakshminarayan said...

Nice to know :) Good description btw. Even the place where I live is pretty much the same :) Weather turning out to be good :D