Thank God For Wellies. These knee-high boots have been my single greatest simple pleasure this week. We are about a month into monsoon season here, which means it rains pretty much every day. Rainwater pools quickly and the streets become a sloppy mess. I have no idea how this happens but the rain also seems to be dissolving the streets. Bombay roads are bad to begin with, full of potholes and irregularities. I didn’t think it was possible but the rains have made the roads even worse. Yesterday I was riding in a rickshaw when the driver came to a full stop. I looked down and realized the gap in the road was so deep we practically needed a small bridge to cross it.
The monsoon has also changed the character of the sea. I frequently travel the road that runs along the coast and I am breathless from the raw beauty of watching thunderous gray waves crash against the rocky shore. Palm trees bear the force of the wind while their leaves flap like the wings of migrating birds.
Sometimes in the middle of the day the sky darkens as clouds gather overhead. Life takes on a certain urgency, as people hurry to reach their destination. Most of us don’t bother about a light drizzle; we keep on walking with pants rolled up, full body rain suits, or wellies up the knee. Every once in a while the sky just opens up with rain that is so thick it looks like smoke. All activity stops and then– just for a moment– the city gets quiet.