Poem: The Mumbai Monsoon

The rains are nothing new to Singapore, and these days we have rains most afternoons, but because the sewage and rain canal systems are good, there is hardly any flooding here. But it’s a completely different ball game in Mumbai where each Monsoon means wading through sometimes waist-deep water and having the transportation system crippled for a few days till the waters recede. But there is a magic in the rains and I used to love the monsoon. I loved having it rain when I come back home from college because it meant I could walk home from the bus-stop without opening my umbrella and get wet in the rain, but conversely hated this when I went to school or work because it meant staying in wet clothes all day. The rains have been slashing Mumbai in the past month or so and when I saw the visuals of wet roads and some waterlogged areas, this poem came about unbidden. This poem is a relfection of how the monsoon used to be when I lived in India, so it may be different now.

The Mumbai Monsoon

When June makes it way, newspapers hold sway
Everyone has their own theory on when the monsoon will come and play
The MRF prediction is hotly debated, Kerala and then Goa’s rains are long awaited

When the sky starts to darken, the mood shift is palpable
Everyone looks upwards in an occurance that is annual

With hope and a prayer in their heart,
They pray the rain God will do his part
Shower the city with just enough rain
So the streets don’t flood, causing people pain

But flooding is inevitable, the price Mumbaikars pay
For a system built ages ago, in a city then known as Bombay
But the spirit of the city during times like this magnify manifold
It’s only during a crisis, when you see people’s heart of gold

But the monsoon in Mumbai is something really special
To see the waves buffet the Gateway and Marine Drive
To get wet in the rains, to revel in the pure water that is sometimes harsh, sometimes gentle
This is a time when your soul comes alive

I really miss the Mumbai monsoon and maybe those years
When life was more carefree and simple, without the stress which interferes
But life moves on and I hope to experience the monsoon once more
To live that life of that carefree child and young adult, without any worry and chore!

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