It was raining that evening as I struggled home from my classes in Andheri (East). I had an umbrella, but it was of little use. Drenched, I sought my way through the semi-lit roads. When I reached the subway, I realised I had made a mistake. The area was completely flooded with knee-deep water. I struggled to wade through it, and was finally helped by a fellow pedestrian.
This incident took place two years ago. As the monsoons approach the city this year, I am waiting for the clouds to “bring fresh showers to the thirsting flowers”, as poet PB Shelley says. Sure, I am a tad nervous, but that is because of a new year in college. The rains in Mumbai have a way of relieving people of their burdens.
There are reasons to complain, but if you refuse to be cynical, there are reasons to be grateful too. We can blame the BMC officials for corruption or we can be proactive. We could try losing our cool because of the traffic or we could help divert it. When we should be saying no to plastic, why are we still talking about the deluge of 26/7? When we know that the sweeper should not be throwing leaves into the manholes, why do we let him do exactly that?
The choice is ours, really. We could curse the rains for making our children sit at home or thank it for the bountiful crops it will grow. We could fulfill our duties as citizens or crack jokes about the meteorological department’s predictions. Certainly, we could stop cribbing about the stuffy weather in the train compartment for once and try to enjoy the spray of rainwater.
This season provides us with the perfect opportunity to give ourselves a welcome break. Be it enjoying hot beverages and deep-fried snacks, a siesta, or reading a book, there are several ways in which we can spend a rainy afternoon. Smell the earth, or paint, teach your kids how to cover their textbooks or make paper boats. Romantic songs, a nice movie or a jigsaw puzzle could really help lift your mood. Nothing is better than getting away to a hill station for the weekend.
Getting drenched in the first showers was never out of vogue. For the health freaks out there, there is always a mountain to trek on. For the nature lovers and bike enthusiasts, try a trip to a waterfall. Thunder makes for an ideal companion to soothe one’s loneliness. You could always curl up with a magazine or book. Retail therapy could also put a smile on your face.
Whether it is Malhar or Umang, college fests in the rain are always a hit with us students. Let it drizzle or rain cats and dogs, these festivals never go unattended. As for the real festivals, there is no dearth of them. From start to end, the monsoon is full of jubilation: Janmashtami, Ganesh Cha-thurthi and even Navratri fall during this season.
But celebrating, again, doesn’t give us a reason to act irresponsibly. To ensure that our monsoon is enjoyable, we have to change our own habits. For instance, we could stop littering, use eco-friendly materials for the Ganesha idol and use the same clay pot for Navratri the next year.
This will definitely help us in the long run. If we join hands now, we can make a better tomorrow. We can enjoy the rains if we are responsible.
(Krishna Thakkar, 18, is a second-year mass media student at KC College)