When in Manipal, one of the things I look forward to most is going home. This time around, when news of torrential rains in Mumbai reached me, just the day before my journey, I was perturbed.
A few of my friends and well wishers had cautioned me about the train-tracks being flooded and the city being in a bad condition overall.
The journey by car from the airport however proved otherwise. A few streets were waterlogged, but it did not hamper traffic or even pedestrians, who armed with umbrellas and rain coats, seemed in control of the situation.
The number of Whatsapp messages I got on arrival was overwhelming.
– Is the city under water?
– Did I need to swim?
– Are the train tracks now being used for boat passages?
These were the funniest of the lot.
Despite such earnest concern, the people in Mumbai are unruffled. The monsoons come in full swing every year, and being the lifeline of the water supply system, they are welcomed almost whole-heartedly.
Yes, Friday was a bad day. But otherwise “rainy day holidays” are hard to come by – people go to work/institutions no matter how heavy the downpour. Water reaches the streets in Marine Drive, every year – a tourist attraction actually in spite of warnings of high tide.
Most importantly, the trains – the brigadier of transport in Mumbai, are never at a standstill for long. It might be raining cats and dogs for days without a break, some streets may still be clogged, but life in Mumbai hardly ceases. The city is famous for its rains. “Mumbai ki Barish” – you need to experience it to believe it. But take my word for it, all’s well here for now.