Come June and my heart fills with the anticipation of monsoons. As per general rule, rains are supposed to hit Mumbai by first week of June and Delhi by end of June. Like every year, I wait and long for monsoons to arrive. While I wait, I came across a few words I wrote last year in my folder. And now that I have a blog, I couldn’t resist publishing the same over here.
An affair to remember
It was around 4:30 pm and like every other late afternoon at home in Delhi; I was sitting idle watching TV and surfing on internet. All the doors and windows were closed, which always is, as a rule during Delhi afternoons. All of a sudden, indoors became darker and cooler. I walked to the other room and opened the balcony door and… wow!!! I was in for a pleasant surprise. The sky was full of dark and black clouds… really dark. Light and cool breeze added to the effect. Since it was happening in Delhi, there were abundant trees, plants, flowers all around to bring colour to the view. The end result was nothing less than magical. I was spell bound for a moment. I had almost forgotten the beauty of monsoons in plains like Delhi. I guess Mumbai rains have occupied my heart and memories, almost to the extent of prejudice against Delhi.
Anyways, today that moment was beautiful and happy. My expectations started to mount. Especially after all the news of heavy rains in nearby areas, I was anticipating something similar for saddi dilli. I waited anxiously, looking up at the sky, hoping for heavy, really heavy rains to drench us mortals. After a few minutes of waiting, I went back inside to my TV. Soon after, I was making impatient rounds in and out, walking across rooms and balcony. And there I saw little droplets on ground, followed by a coin-sized large water drops. I was ecstatic and looked up at the sky in awe. There it is. It’s going to happen. The single most beautiful event of nature on this earth! The few drops turned into many and what followed ‘officially’ classify as rains. But, it wasn’t enough to satiate the dry earth and me. I was disappointed. The light drizzle went on for about 10 minutes. I was standing there in my balcony… I kept standing there. Rains drops touched my clothes and vanished. Oh, how I missed Mumbai.
This moment, this very moment brought a flashback of all monsoons spend there. In a flash, past 5 years of Mumbai passed through my eyes, followed by a bitter pain somewhere reminding me of the only stupid decision of my life… I left Mumbai at the onset of monsoons. I had already missed a whole month of rains. My heart was crying, shouting at me to pack bags and rush back with the first available flight. What stops me is a different discussion. Coming back to the main point, monsoons in Delhi v/s Mumbai.
Delhi rains are a lot of noise and little substance. There are strong winds, dust spiraling in air, trees moving around violently. It sends ahead its messengers like a queen to prepare all for the grand entrance. What finally enters the stage is usually less than grand. Delhi rains start with dust storm, lightening and some more thunder storm. Sometimes it’s accompanied with beautiful breeze. The rains are very light, usually not enough for desperate souls like me. Though I must admit, there are bonus points, like inexplicable pleasant smell of wet earth and the nice breeze.
Mumbai rains, however, are beautiful, romantic and memorable. It just shows up, at any fine moment, like an old friend. No signals, no messengers. Surprise entry, longer stay. It comes and stays. Sometimes it stays over night, sometimes throughout that lazy afternoon. Sometimes it pours heavily and embraces the dry earth with an absolute intimacy and join in the celebration, with all life on earth thoroughly drenched. Sometimes it comes in the form of small string of drops to accompany for a little road-side chai and bhajiya. It makes its presence felt… the skies are cloudy and the streets are wet all over. Even the sea gets ecstatic with the kiss of raindrops. The sea is youthful, vibrant and vivacious when the monsoon pays a visit; it’s almost delirious, splashing water all around. Mumbai experience monsoon in its true splendor.
Delhities who have never gone to Mumbai during monsoons (or pune, lonvala, kashid, and the endless list of nature’s pretty faces around Mumbai) do not have an iota of a clue what they have missed in life. To not live in Mumbai is my decision. That city will never be my home, but it will stay with me forever as that unforgettable but impractical love affair. The beauty of the city during monsoons charmed me away.
– Sonali, 7th July 2010, Delhi
P.S: The above is dedicated to the lovely rains and the metros of Delhi and Mumbai (the cities I love and hate)