The romance of the rains is perennial..even in maximum city of our dreams...Mumbai....despite the traffic woes, the crater sized potholes, and public transport that threatens to give up on a day where the skies open up!
Even when you are stuck in the train, and the journey that should not take your more than 50 minutes takes over an hour...you are likely to find something that warms your heart and makes you want to live and enjoy life to the fullest...
I was on a Churchgate (the final destination from the western suburbs) bound train...stressing about an appointment that I was getting delayed for, thanks to the rainwater making the tracks slower than it should be. No amount of pulling down the window panes would keep the rains at bay, so I had just given up trying to keep myself dry..when I saw two young mothers with a bunch of super excited kids raincoats and umbrellas et all...making a big din, while two hapless ladies tried to keep them quiet...
Needless to say the other passenger in the ladies compartment looked on half amused as the children would all but keep themselves seated....though the children were vocal about the excitement, the mothers could barely keep their excitement concealed..an enquiry to six year old Hetal Patel...told me why..."Mumma and maasi withchintu bahiyya and dimple didi, my bhaiyya and me are going to get wet!"
Now that's a funny statement...I thought to myself, why would somebody "go"to get wet...whereas the rest of us were struggling to keep ourselves dry??
I was close to dismissing Hetal's answer as a child's fantasies when curiosity got the better of me and I did what I normally wouldn't do....I asked Hetal's mom.. what her daughter was talking about....turns out what Hetal was saying was indeed true!! Anita and Rupa were taking their kids to marine drive(Mumbai's answer Sydney harbour)....all the way from Andheri just to get drenched in the rain and enjoy a treat of bhutta's and cutting chai...." We havent done this since we were children ourselves" quips Rupa..while Anita reminsces how their father and mother used to take them to marine drive to enjoy the first showers of the city just before schools reopened..." This is a legacy we want to pass on to our children...a last summer vacation treat as our dad always said..an incentive to look forward to the next term at school!"
Now here's what you call...pure unadulterated...non commercial joy. This is when multiplexes and amusement parks are vying with each other to woo kids during the vacations..two mothers of moderate means are still able to give a taste of pure joy to their children.....they don't mind travelling 20 kilometres in the train just to give their kids a good time the Mumbai way!
Although I was getting late for my meeting, I did see them off till Marine Drive...and though I was tempted...to stay back and enjoy an afternoon of getting wet wilfully..I had to go! One my way back instead of whizzing past Marine Drive...I stood at Marine drive for a while...as raindrops jived all over me.....I could see Hetal and her cousins playing in the rains..in my mind's eye.
I pray that Hetal remembers these simple pleasures that her mother's passing on to her as her silent legacy!