Monday, July 05, 2010

Mumbai Rains

Mumbai is one of those rare cities in India that has two seasons in a year - Summer and Monsoon - both in their extreme states. Once in two-three years we get to experience winter for a few days. Summer is really bad here. The moment you step out, you are drenched in sweat even before you reach the main gate of your building. I am now used to this humidity so much that if I go in some other city and I do not perspire, I fall sick thanks to my stupid psychology that the heat is not coming out of my body as I didn't sweat even if it was too hot!

But the season i really hated here was monsoon, until now. Reasons - how many of you have heard of 26th July floods in Mumbai? If not, then click here to see the photographs of that nightmare. Mumbai drainage system is the worst. Whenever there is a continuous heavy down pour for five hours or more, the trains stop as the railway tracks are flooded. You may find stand still traffic almost everywhere, a 30 km journey takes more than 3 hours, roads are muddy and dirty, if you travel in a local train or a bus, then people even stamp on your feet, clothes with their wet and muddy chappals and sandals, you have to be very careful while standing anywhere as an unannounced umbrella wire may get poked in your eye and such.

But the monsoon in Mumbai is at its best when you are at Marine drive enjoying the rains. Just take a walk near sea side, water drops drawn you in their beauty, while waves touch your soul deep inside. Usually sea depresses me, but not during monsoon when it's at its wildest and best. Bhutta wala, chai wala, chana chor garam wala and such make their presence felt too. You cannot stop yourself from buying those things and relish on them while it's raining.

I never appreciated rains so much in my life until now. These days, suddenly I have started falling in love with the monsoon. The rain drops lift my spirits instantly. Like a child, I feel like going out there and get wet, play in the rains, make paper boats, take a long walk or a bike ride. It sometimes feels very strange to see how our perspectives suddenly change.

Have you ever had garma garam Mirchi Bajji with spicy garlic chatni while getting wet in rains? Try it out. Your eyes are watering, but the rain water soothes you completely. Go out there and have an ice cream. It tastes ten times better. Just stand at Marine Drive and let the waves kiss your cheeks. You will never want to leave that place. Take a ride around Queens Necklace, Colaba and Fountain at midnight. You will be the luckiest if it's drizzling. Go out there with your loved ones, family and friends. Live your life to the fullest for that glorious day. Live each moment, experience each rain drop, feel each wave. Trust me, it feels like heaven...


  1. Rains!!

    Rains are a boon, instantly lift your spirits. Its an irony that I have never been in Mumbai even though I was born there

    Yes, who could forget the 26th July rains? I saw it on TV, hardships were there for everyone to see.

    I know how having an ice cream when it rains feels :-) Its unexplainable.

    I hope you enjoy the rains more

  2. Waah! Mazza aa gaya, Neha!

    Being a Mumbaikar and a daily commuter, I can totally relate to this post.. Rains have a special place in everyone's heart here..we just cannot live without it.

    Monsoons are simply heaven, and your post is simply awesome! Lage raho...!

  3. Oh oh !

    I just wrote about the rain as well ! Our takes are different. On the same subject !!

    Anyway, when the rain pelts down...give me filter coffee ! Anyday !

  4. The way you explained it sounds a lot like my city...humid,poor drainage system(people are using boats to commute in some areas ..saw on tv)and that unannounced umbrella wire poking your eyes .But still we love our cities.
    Would love to experience Mumbai rains(Marine drive)..inshallah ! But right now i need to eat mirchi bajji with garlic chutney and an ice cream later.

    Enjoy the rains Neha.

  5. oh yes garam garma chai with the PAkodes or my mum use to make Meethe pancakes sorts (dont know what they r called ) ... yummy

    and the garam garma JALEBI's oooh i am missing chandigarh now ...

  6. Hmm...July 26th wale floods mein had lost a relative...n I had met him in Mumbai on the same 15th...uff...
    Otherwise I love rains...yahan pe Chennai mein I get to meet yearly cyclones...ladies...Nisha last yr...Laila this year...maybe Senorita next year... ;)
    Nice post N :)

  7. yea, heard its raining monkeys and donkeys in Mumbai. God save the place.....but its great to be in rain after a life in desert.....cant tell you in words how much i long for rains, those smells of earth after the pehla bunde of baarish, the murky clouds, the silence before the storm, hot ginger chai with KFC chicken( or even Pizza will do) and Pandit Hariprasad chowrasia on the laptop. AAAAhhhhh, my idea of leisure....Kerala i miss you.Nice post,BTW, my memories have had a brushup.TC:)

  8. but, you know what, it should never flood, like in Bombay.It takes all the fun and it turns into a despair.or nightmare to be more precise. I can understand. I remember once during our vacation travel, we were passing through Mumbai from Gujrat, and we got delayed by 2 days .....For us children it was fun, but my parents had a tough time.

    I hope Mumbai drains are overhauled and things turned beautiful. Amen!TC

  9. You by now know that I love rains! They just make me so very happy and while reading this and typing, its raining outside and i can hear the drops on my window :).

    I have been to Mumbai just when summer ended and monsoon was about to begin. But it only rained on the last 2 days i was there. The day i headed to Juhu beach it was very very hot. I m sure i will visit mumbai again as i loved the city :)

  10. Here in Jodhpur, the rains have a rowdy charm to them, just like the harsh desert.

    I stayed on Marine drive last winter, it was brilliant. And yes, the Queen's necklace-Colaba-Fountain bike rides were a constant 3am pleasure trip, ending with Bachelor's chocolate shakes. I really miss sitting at the very edge of Nariman point in the rains.

  11. Well written Neha, enjoyed it :)
    Anyway, its raining currently in hyderabad as well n I'm loving it ...

  12. Neha,

    You make sure weather is good in Mumbai for next one week as I arrive tomorrow night.

    I love rain too...but would not like rain to block the traffic. Plan to stay at Juhu beach.

  13. rain drops
    are magical
    just make us fresh

  14. Have done almost all those things you've mentioned! I had just visited home recently and rains came soon enough. Amazing to watch from a window while sipping filter coffee and leafing through a novel as well!

  15. Very true . I cant forget the kick one gets while walking-driving at Haji Ali-Carter Road and Chowpatty during rains.Despite the fact that rains do disturb the normal life in the city,but it is the most exciting period of the year. Another two months and humidity will start to show its strength again.

  16. So u finally are in love with rains :D.... and Mirchi Bhaji! Kya baat hai...waise this year its raining everywhere except in Bangalore :) ... not that I am complaining but ...

  17. Rains and butta, chana, mirchi baji. Wah waah. Rains are fun.

  18. Mumbai rains!! them and hate them too. On a holiday, they are fun and so can enjoy them from your balcony or get drenched on the terrace, the fresh green look of the trees and garden...
    But on a working day, travelling by local train/bus, killing humidity, wet and dirty clothes...

  19. On 27 july i reached mumbai for my interview and then it took us hours to reach my uncle's place. My uncle told me his ordeal of how he was stuck for the entire night. Somehow we managed to reach for my interview place. i could only go back to my place after a week as our train got cancelled. That was my first visit to the city and though i was there for a wek i couldn't go anywher near to the place i want to visit like th e JUHU beach and queen's neklace. But then i visited mumbai after a year and realised how beautiful can the rain be .

  20. Can totally relate to this post. Have been to Marine Drive once in the rains in 2007. It was bliss. And after commuting in trains and buses in these rains, you feel that you are surely going to catch some disease with all the mud and dirt. :)

  21. I think the rains have turned you totally romanctic! Can't blame you, it's such a beautiful season...:)

  22. Ah the much famous Bombay rains. Isn't there a book called 'Bombay Rains and Bombay Girls'? :P
    You know Calcutta is a bit similar to Bombay in this respect. Summer months are a pain for us. We sweat like pigs but the rains bring that much-needed relief. :)

  23. Rains and Ice cream

    and nothing more than making paper boats and flowing them with Siddharth in the ponds..

  24. I remember ur facebook update...dekho barish ho rahi hain...its raining its raining LOL

    Barish is a welcome change yaar. And Marine office was opposite marine drives...I would spend time sitting there and enjoying the breeze

  25. for me there is not beautiful sight than watching rains by sitting beside the windows... :)

    beautiful post neha :)

  26. I love rains totally n completely!!!

    In fact dancing in the second or third shower of d season leaves me enthused to the highest level....

    n how did u forget having pakodas in d rain.....!!!yummmmm....!!!

  27. I used to love the rains until I came to Oslo. Here we get depressed when it rains coz it gets chilly and cold. And besides we barely get the sun.
    But I do remember the Indian monsoon and how it makes you feel. I do remember dancing in the rain on my roof top!

    But I would love to eat the Mirch Bhaji in the rain one day:)

  28. I love the rains. The indian monsoon, not so much the nordic rains. I thought you didnt like the rains. I love getting wet in the rains, i love the smell of earth, i love eatting pakoras with chai during rains and i love how everything looks washed and afresh. I miss the monsoons, its been ages since I last experienced it. :)

  29. i love sitting idle at the marine drive and staring at the sea..with or without rains

    that's my favourite place in mumbai...whenever i come from blore i make it a point to visit marine drive

  30. I personally believe that the rains generally renew an old casket of memories and take us to another world. It's maybe because the world looks so different in the monsoon... freshly washed of its problems. My kind of things are go for long drives, curl up under the sheets and listen to some really good romantic music (with the sound of raindrops falling in the background and a good book to keep company)

  31. I so miss the rains here... even though one day rains floods chennai I would prefer to get drenched then burn in the sun.

  32. Ah! It's raining cats & dogs in blogosphere. Everybody is talking about it, albeit different takes on the same subject - rains. Like you said, enjoy it with some hot chilly bhajji & garma-garam chai / filter-coffee, as you please!

  33. neha ji
    Your words of consolation on loss of my brother helped me strengthen myself. I really appreciate it and pray for peace and good health to you and yr near ones. Really lucky to have come across you.
    i should have met u when in mumbai last month..god willing next time..

  34. tagged

  35. oh boy! what have yo done... brought back all the lovely memories of Mumbai...I so want to be at Marine Drive and watch the sea.

    Have almost done everything that you've asked to..and yes it's out of this world feeling :) LIKED your post very much !

  36. mumbai rains, mysore rains, mangalore rains, mussourie rains... wherever it is, rains are the best

    im not commentin abt ur writin, coz its as good as ever :)

  37. @ Insignia, Mumbai rains are scary - really scary especially after 26/7..I remember you mentioning about having ice cream while it's raining :)

    @ Parth, I so damn agree..I have even got stuck twice at churchgate - sydenham college :D imagine, no trains working and all you have to do is enjoy tea and sandwiches in the canteen or go to marine drive for a walk in the rains.. :)

    @ Kavi, your take is amazing..I loved it..mere liye, it's always ginger tea :)

    @ Kavita, almost all the cities are more or less the same..come to Mumbai..I will take you to Marine Drive and we will have tea :))

    @ Bik, I do not like sweets much..for me, it's tea and anything spicy :)

    @ ZB, it's raining elephants and buffaloes here..Kerala - oh man, I wish to be there during monsoon..maybe soon enough..Mumbai floods are nightmares re..2 days delay? frustrating!

    @ Sree, that's sad re..many lives were lost on that day..enjoy with your chicks :P

    @ Harini, yeah I could hear the rain drops? wow..nice nice..come to Mumbai soon :)

    @ Jil Jil Ramamani, so many times i have been to those areas from 12 to 4 :) now you remind me the chocolate shake! I wanna have it now :P

    @ Vikas, thank you..enjoy the rains :)

    @ A, by now you know how the weather is right? :) enjoy your Mumbai Stay :)

    @ sm, I second you :)

    @ liberalcynic, welcome here..thank you for your comments..amazing to watch sipping ginger tea :)

    @ BK Chowla, now visit sea looks even more beautiful..don't remind me of the heat :S :)

    @ D-man, yeah..ekdum se baarish achi lagne lagi hai..bangalore me bhi, it will rain :)

    @ Holy Lama, so true..

    @ Shilpa, yeah the only thing i dread is to travel on a rainy day!

    @ Neha, oh sad..but it happens a lot here..we are quite used to it :) Mumbai is indeed beautiful..hai na :)

    @ Maddie, 2007 was one of the years when there was water blockage :) dirt during monsoon - yuck!

    @ DC, yeah..not romantic, but happy :)

    @ Sammy, I have read that horrible book :P I know Kol is too humid too..

    @ Swatantra, how very nice :)

    @ G3, ROFL..yeah I remember it too - I lived to hear this song :P meri college marine drive pe thi re :( miss it :(

    @ Kanagu, I know..thank you :)

    @ Jaunty, dancing and me - no ways :P I have mentioned bhajji..pakodas are yumm too :)

    @ Saroj, oh ho..main to yaha pe jacket pahenke bethi hu :) come here..and you will be able to enjoy mirchi bhajji :)

    @ Merlin, I have started liking the rains these days..I second you..rains, tea and pakodas - wow :)

    @ aparna, welcome here..thank you for your comments..marine drive is the best place to be anytime :)

    @ Akshay, welcome here..thank you for your rains make you romantic..nice does that to most na :)

    @ Rajlakshmi, hmmm..wish we got everything in moderation :)

    @ RGB, you are right..everywhere, it's raining :)

    @ Ramesh, there is always a next time :)

    @ Nu, Mumbai rocks, hai na.. :)

    @ Chandana, yeah, rains rock..and thanks girl :))

  38. Hi Neha,

    Great to read your experience of Mumbai rains, and the summer one, getting wet while we reach the main gate, So damn true! :|

    It was a good read.

    I am new in Mumbai and came across the most beautiful rains of my life here. If you feel, you can have a look at my blog ;)

  39. Mumbaikars often complain about the city’s plight in terms of transport, pollution, crowd and the daily hustle-bustle. But in their hearts, is the sheer love of how the city comes alive during the monsoon. Visiting Mumbai during the monsoon can be splendid!