We complain incessantly after it rains non-stop and then even more so when it does not. But tell me then who doesn’t love the rain? Walk through the first rainstorm of the season and it slowly hits you: that fresh, earthy smell. It undoubtedly comes as a great relief from the excessive heat of summers. There is nothing to beat the freshness and crispness in the air...the plants and trees all green, rejuvenated and sparkling with an air of brightness. For albeit a brief time, things look clean and the air is cool and comfortable and momentarily dust-free.

Your thoughts tend to float away with the drifting clouds, the flashes of lightning radiating up the skies and the musical sound of the raindrops tapping on the tin roof adding sweetness to the melancholy. There is no denying it that the monsoons cast a quiet spell on everyone. In the silence, only the dance of the rain is visible weaving a spell through the crystal pearls falling against the window panes and with every gust of wind, the dry leaves floating away into the horizon.

It takes me back to my post-graduation days in Bombay... Yes Bombay and not Mumbai as you see: Mumbai is the city but Bombay is an emotion! We would sit on the window sills of our hostel dorms with the pounding rain drenching us but we didn’t care for these were the small pleasures of life. Hot ‘vada-pavs’ and steaming sweet coffee and unending giggles ensured that nothing could put a damper on our spirits. We would venture out adventurously to the sea-front, getting soaked to our skins but still continuing to munch on soggy ‘sev-puri and bhel-puri’ nonchalantly.

We even woke up... well leaning more towards being rudely jolted out of our beds one morning to see our luggage and slippers floating around us and our rooms flooded in knee-deep water. It had poured all night you see and the (in)famous Bombay deluge had been welcomed in with open arms by all the balconies on our floor. We were all wading through water first thing in the morning and a lot of people jumped out of their beds faster than even the speedster ‘Quicksilver’ could react. Later when Deanne and I exchanged notes on as to why we hadn’t even realised this predicament sooner, considering both of us were ‘light-sleepers’...we could only blame it on the flagrantly pleasing weather.

Now on the flip side... Yes, there is a downside to everything unfortunately... The travel woes are horrifying...normal life gets disrupted...there are traffic snarls...water-logging in low-lying areas...innumerable pot holes and choked drains adding to the chaos and confusion topped with a civil administration and municipal corporation that couldn’t care less how the ordinary citizen (the one paying taxes et al) managed. Traffic jams that could easily last as long as half a day...roads caving in...with overnight waterfalls and whirlpools springing up...and actual waves that lap against your car door making you feel that you indeed are in a boat and not a car. And so it all boils down to a question of severity, adaptation and survival.

The same story shall be repeated year after year and no lessons will be learnt or positive changes made as this is how ‘accepting’ we are to all our problems. In hind sight, monsoons may bring a lot of relief from the heat, but one must remember that it can cause havoc too and so there is urgency in taking stock of the situation.

For those of us in the NCR, the rain brings relief but the traffic snarls have only worsened as they do every year without fail – some things are constant!