First of all, thanks to all
of you who expressed their concern following the bomb blasts in Mumbai. We are
both fine but these events have been fairly impressive.
Mumbai had already witnessed
several bombs attacks in the suburbs this year, but never were they so close
from our home (the “gate of India” is only 5 minutes from our
apartment/office). It takes you quite aback when you see such pictures from
your neighbourhood on TV. In addition, Mylene knew one of the victims, which
brought this tragedy even closer to us….
Since then however, life
has returned to normality and the days are getting warmer and sunnier again,
first signs that the monsoon is coming to an end.
Let me share with you some
impressions of these 2-3 months of rainy weather.
DESPITE THE HEAVY RAINS, NOBODY SEEMS TO BE DISTURBED BY THE MONSOON
- It can pour dogs during one whole night without
interruption, stop within one minute and remain dry for days
expecting the monsoon like in the cinema: a sunny day with a short and
heavy shower at 5 pm every afternoon. I was badly wrong…
When and for how long it will rain is absolutely unpredictable. During the
monsoon, the sky remains grey for roughly three months and you never know
when the next “deluge” will take place. As a result, people get
accommodated to it and just keep walking, working, living as the rain
would not exist.
- Even when it rains, the temperature rarely drops
below 30 degrees. You just get “wet”, that’s it!
When the rain starts, people do not seem to notice. You get wet, but not
cold, as the water is still around 30 degrees. So why bother and run or
hide? It could last hours anyway… As a result, people keep walking with
the same pace as before, police traffic officers just put on some funny
long yellow raincoats and keep whistling, the hair-dressers on the
pavement ask their customers to hold an umbrella while they are shaving
them and women keep riding scooter in sari, sitting in Amazon behind their
husband enjoying the wind and the rain…
- Protection against water is the key for
“survival” during the monsoon
As these torrential rains are unpredictable, everybody get prepared for
the worse. Having always an umbrella with you is by far not enough. Before
leaving the office, you need to wrap your laptop in a plastic bag and to
envelop your mobile phone in a special watertight etui. To go to work,
people typically wear old shoes or sandals. Once arrived in the office,
one put some more decent shoes and life goes on.
HOWEVER, THE HEAVY RAINS
ARE NOT WITHOUT IMPACTS ON EVERY DAY’S LIFE
- Train and car traffic are chaotic during the
first days of the monsoon
heavy rains having grabbed the earth around their roots, 380 trees fell
during the first 20 days of monsoon, blocking many vital traffic axes in
Mumbai. Trains were also heavily delayed, as the water canalisations,
plugged with plastic bags accumulated during the dry season, could not
evacuate the water on the railways tracks. On top of that, it gets almost
impossible to get one of the 50,000 taxis in Mumbai when it starts
pouring: Murphy’s law also applies in India :-)
- Books, bedclothes, everything gets humid and you
have to take particular care to avoid fungus
With time the humidity reaches every single corner. The pages of books get
soft and humid, as do bedclothes and pillows. We had to regularly open all
cupboards and let the fans vent during the day to aerate our clothes and
ensure no fungus grew on them. With the warm temperatures and high humidity
level, everything can get spoiled overnight. The waterproofing of our
building being not tight enough, we also got some leakage and seepage in
our kitchen. Try and get this repaired during the monsoon was simple
utopia. We are not unhappy that the warm, dry days are coming back.
STILL, MONSOON REMAINS THE
PREFERRED SEASONS FOR MOST INDIANS
- A pick-nick was organised the first week-end
after the monsoon started
You won’t believe it, but as soon as the first rain starts, Indian start
planning tons of outdoor excursions as the temperatures are more bearable
and the nature turn to a beautiful green (see
some pictures here). So, the first monsoon weekend, we headed early in
the morning for some nice place around Mumbai, set up a “tent” there and
put the grill on. Rapidly, the place became very busy, the location being
famous for its waterfalls. Men and women just come there and go fully
dressed into the river water and come back completely wet.
- Trekking in the Gath during the monsoon is also
a favourite weekend occupation
Gaths, a hills chain eastwards of Mumbai is a beautiful region to go for a
trek. During the monsoon, the temperature becomes quite comfortable for a
walk (although the 100% humidity level lets you wet your shirt anyway). I
had the chance of walking through some of these breathtaking landscapes.
It is amazing how fast the nature can change and just turn green “over
Now, the time between two
rains gets longer and longer. Regularly, we can see some part of blue sky again
and enjoy the warmth of the sun on our face… It feels so good!
I cannot wait to get up ever morning again, knowing that the weather will be
Last updated: 9/9/2003 12:36 AM More about Mumbai Back home