Don't tread where you may eventually dread!
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Definition: Mumbai in the rains is a city which takes the rains so seriously that nothing else is as important as this season, as long as the season lasts.
Some significant things to notice in Mumbai before, during and after rains:
Pre- rain syndrome in Mumbaiyites:
1) People keep predicting when the rains will come, why they haven't come as yet or how they have come earlier than usual.
2) They plan events or phase out events predicting and anticipating that rains will come.
3) They discuss how they will love the cool weather once the rains come and the heat goes!
4) They behave like they are just waiting for the rains to come!
1) The first day the major showers come, people panic. There is talk in the offices about how to get back home. Are their home routes under water ? Are their trains running or is there water in the tracks? So at least 3 effective working hours are lost in this!
2) Media channels beam images of submerged places and reporters wearing raincoats shout at the top of their voices about how the government has done nothing and how bad the scene is! All this is watched by people from their living rooms, enjoying hot pakoras ( Indian savouries) to go with the rainy weather. By the way they are home because it is raining outside.
3) Heads of departments receive smses from their subordinates saying they are stuck in rain and cannot come. Of course it is another mater that many of them are in completely dry areas and snuggled cosily in front of their tvs!
4) But spirit of Mumbai not to be ignored, people love the rains and children and adults rush out willingly to get wet and enjoy the waters!
5) There are rainy wear shoes and clothes at high prices and people make a beeline for them!
6) People come late to office, go early and take leave just because there are rains. Important meetings are cancelled at the drop of a hat in Andheri West, even when there is a deluge at South Mumbai!
7) The very people who were cribbing about the summer and waiting for the rains now crib about how hard It's raining outside.
8) There is one section of people who wants to show that the rains cannot daunt them and get into vigorous activity organising monsoon camps and hiking trips ( hiking? in the slippery terrain?) into the nearby hills, saying how lovely the greens look in the weather.
9) Lonavala and Khandala are examples of world's worst traffic jams as people from Mumbai make a beeline to see the greenery there , only to inch in the traffic and come back inching in the evening without having any other sight except for the backlights of the previous car in the traffic jam!
10) People confuse between lakes and puddles , which arise in the middle of the roads, which become temporary lakes in the rains. In fact , the roads in Mumbai can actually be defined as ' puddles which are connected by cement!' Puddle connectors!
11) People from very junior to very senior professionals are seen carrying umbrellas religiously.
12) The motor cyclists wear a strange kind of bodywear which is supposed to shield them from the rain as they are riding , but which seems only to keep them partially wet as the wind makes it fly in all directions.
13) If you happen to travel in an old chartered bus, be prepared to open your umbrella inside the bus as the bus leaks , and also be prepared to take the nonchalance of the people as they are oblivious to such things and seem to think that there is nothing to complain about a leaking bus!
14) Be prepared to see ladies coming in rolled up pants with unwaxed legs to work, and changing into smart stylish clothes to start work in office! You would be wondering if it was the same lady you saw.
15) Some things common in rains:
- Wet umbrella suddenly sticking into your arm from your neighbour in the lift!
- ladies squeezing dupattas ( Indian scarf) nonchalantly in the bus /train, as if it was the most public hing to do!
- Men wearing floaters to work
- People discussing loudly about rain affected areas all over Mumbai
- Offices shutting down early for the day, for predicted bad weather.
- If you hail from a smaller town, get used to getting lots of calls from your hometown asking if you are safe, as they see the repeated flooded images and hysterical reporters on tv.
- What was once dry dog crap (hopefully not belonging to a higher species!!), now getting mixed in the flowing rain water, where you are about to put your foot into, as you have no choice!
16) The most significant thing about the rains is the traffic jam that comes along with it. People are stuck for hours on their way to and fro from work. They go through the same motions about cursing the Govt, and authorities and by the time they are through, they reach home exhausted!
After the rainy season:
1) People start cribbing about the heat and how nice and cool the rains were
2) People get busy to prepare for a season which they somehow call winter, where there is no cold weather!!!!
3) people pack their umbrellas and monsoon gear for the next year.
4) They talk of how they couldnt enjoy the rains enough when they were there!