I like the rain.
The June-July-August rain. When it has set into the season in its full glory. The monsoons. The monsoon. Rainy season. Whatever you call it. Unlike a lot of people I know, I like the rain in Mumbai.
It took me two hours to get to work today. But I like the rain. And just about everything associated with it.
It pounded on the roof of my car, splashed at me from oncoming traffic, got swept away by my efficient wipers and relentlessly blocked my vision, I smiled and thought to myself – I like the rain.
I like the rain as it washes away the dirt and grime of this city. I like the muddied water as it runs down in thick rivulets across and by the side of the roads. It’s almost like the rain is frantically trying to clean up the mess that city has made in the past 8 months and has been given a short span of 3-4 months (with dry spells thrown in) to make it all better. And as hopeless as it seems I like that the rain is doing its utmost to bring the city back to its clean self again.
But I know in a city like Mumbai, the rain shields so much, covers so much, blinds so much. And if anything understands this city it’s the rain. The rain sees through the dark side of the city, empathizes with the painful side, equalizes the inequality with one heavy shower and pounds on rich or poor alike.
Overcast, cloudy, grey, black, dull and dreary, the rain is witness to all the city’s dark, dingy misdoings. It creeps its way through dimly lit alleyways and runs through the murky menagerie of human existence. It settles in patches of the underworld, treating the dons and underdogs alike, all covered with the same muddy splashes, all stepping into the same morass of morality, or immorality. I like the rain in all its darkness.
On the outside, someone is crying. But the rain sends a wet protective cover and cries along – with the woman who has lost her house, the man who has lost his job and the brutalized young girl who has lost her faith in humanity. I like the rain as it cries with us.
In the relentless pounding , you don’t hear the cries of the wronged woman or the abused child. It’s all part of the dinning sound that helps this city move on heartlessly to its next destination, next job, next day.
And here comes the rain again. It still tries to do good. Brings new leaf, new colour, to the dust-covered smoke-filled, smog-inhaling trees, unveiling the clear tropical green in the few patches that they still survive. Against a mundane grey backdrop of rain-soaked high rises the glisten of the green gives me new hope. I like the hope of rain.
And then the skies darken again. There’s a deafening peal of thunder and it starts pounding relentlessly on my roof, making silent the music that’s playing in my car, almost insisting I listen to its own drum roll instead. The car fogs up again shielding me from what the rain is shielding from the city – and I watch as the dirt and the grime and the dark, dingy underworld, gets yet another washing.
I do like the rain.