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Dirtscapes

Read. Suffer. Try to Enjoy.

And The Rain Gods Laugheth. All Over Again.

Ah, ‘tis time to girdle your loins, lads and ladettes, cos the rain gods, they toyeth with us all over again, spreading immeasurable joy, lack of sunshine and other assorted, unmentionable feelings amongst the general wretched populace which has to travel any distance, however small, to get to the place which gives you your daily bread, wherever it may be.

Why do I LOVE the monsoons so? A small compendium right here…

When else would you get to marvel at the sheer dare-devilry of our ‘agencies’ who go about working on the city’s infrastructure, to actually make a difference to your quality of life?

“Dare-devilry?! Pah!!!!”
Yeah… go on and scoff all you want…but let me tell you this…it takes real guts to go about digging fresh sections of reasonably sane roads just a week before the rains are expected (not on the basis of any fancy stochastic weather model, but on the pure common sense one). It is precisely this optimistic, reason-ignoring, fearless attitude that is making the city what it is today. In fact they are laying lives on the line to make it all happen. Just don’t ask whose.

The monsoons invariably teach you how our sewage system works down to the micro-level. There’s no better time to get an actual live, hands-on demo to check out the fate of the swirling, writhing mass comprising of semi-solid human and animal waste, assorted urea based natural excretions, twigs, dead leaves, branches, gutkha packets, biscuit and chocolate wrappers, plastic bags, fruit and vegetable peels, coconut shells, cassette tape, and humongous chunks of thermocol, which besieges your feet as you walk down to your destination because surprise surprise, the roadways are flooded, and vehicles cannot and do not see any point in moving even an inch. Your life would be so much the poorer if you didn’t know where all the above mentioned stuff went. And it does snap you out of your nonchalance about the whole waste disposal deal and ensures that you KNOW what happens to what. The most advantaged are the younger generations, since they learn the basics of drainage and sewage disposal so early on in life. The country need never fear a shortage of Civil Engineers.

When else would you get to read those ‘celebrating the monsoons’ articles in the media which appear with unforgiving, relentless regularity every single year? Every year, there has to be a genius reporter who will suggest that you eat ‘pakodas/bhajjiyas’ with a steaming hot cup of ‘adrak chai’, and feel like you don’t have a care in the world. I mean, this is what we LIVE for right? Cynical fools like me are bound to get that ‘read it a billion times before’ feeling, but I am assuming there is a whole new segment of readers EVERY year, who really don’t know how special this particular food combination is at this time of the year, until they read at least 10 articles devoted to this and other ‘monsoon recipes’. So I’m really happy for them. Really.

When else would you get to read those ‘what do you do in the monsoon months?’ questionnaires hurled at movie and TV ‘celebrities’? This is quality reading at its very best, trust me… Count on the ‘trips to (standard monsoon getaway)’, ‘pakodas and chai at home’,and the extremely enlightening ‘I don’t do anything special’ responses. If not, you get your money back…but hold on…most of this ‘literature’ is free in the first place. Damn.

When else can you read sappy, insulin generation inhibiting articles about the ‘Spirit and Resilience of Mumbai’, after a particularly harsh day’s worth of rain and actually feel try and feel ‘good’ about it? And then it dawns on you that you have been exhibiting this ‘spirit’ for ages now(every ****ing year actually) and are actually used and inured to the whole show. Some spirit that… it should be actually spelt as ‘majboori’.

End of rant.


Note:
This was inspired by just an hour and a half’s worth of steady rain yesterday, thanks to which it took me 4 hours to get home instead of the usual 2. There will be a lot more to jot down, as the season wears on. I can feel it in my bones.
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9:38 AM, June 02, 2006
Blogger Anand said...

hello to the season full of soaked undies beneath your office trousers, soaked socks inside your office shoes and a soaked spirit within an already drenched body :))
all you need is chaai bhaji!! its supposed to get alright after that you see! :))    



2:17 PM, June 05, 2006
Anonymous raghu said...

remember the night out in seepz on that fateful "mumbai floods" day.. going by your blog and the plastic i saw floating on TV, looks like nothing has changed... nostalgia, yes but definitely not this way...    



10:35 AM, June 12, 2006
Blogger GuNs said...

Hey !!
Night out in SEEPZ?? Now whos that guy? I was there in the Mumbai floods too. 26th July 2005. Can't forget it. Mine was the only bus form our company that arrived in SEEPZ at 4:30. All the other buses had got stuck and they never arrived that day. The entire training batch slept in office that day. Only 3 of us got out - me in the bus and 2 other who walked all the way to Dadar from SEEPZ, Andheri !!

Remember spending 5 hours in the bus to get to Mulund instead of the usual 1 hour and we spent 3 hours out of that wathching Page-3 on someone's laptop on the last seat.

Best part was that we got 2 days off from office that week. YAY. Had to compensate on one Saturday though but yet, its a bonus of one day, isn't it?

-PeAcE
--WiTh
---GuNs    



4:15 PM, June 15, 2006
Blogger Nirwa said...

Hahahaha - Good Luck!

Nirwa    



4:16 AM, June 17, 2006
Blogger Too_Many_Thoughts said...

hmmm...
Came across ur blogs..nice blogs I have to say.
I see, another person who hates the moonson season just coz it took u more time. Don't blame the season, blame the government and the city for not maintaing proper sewage structures and such.
Otherwise, rain ain't so bad, take it from me. Me lives in Michigan, city of the wors unpredictable weather, was that London? Oh well, whatever    



11:52 AM, June 17, 2006
Blogger Tapan said...

andy,
exactly.

raghu,
dude... I just hope things change this year.

Guns,
Your experience is similar to mine... I walked down to Wadala from SEEPZ that day.

Nirwa,
Thanks. REALLY need it. :)

Too Many Thoughts,
Trust me... I have nothing against the season. Happens to be my favourite as well. My frustration is directed entirely towards the (mostly manmade) havoc wreaked during it.    



4:22 PM, June 25, 2006
Blogger abeer said...

I love the opener... 'girdle your loins'! SUPER!
There are a couple of things though that are real fun to watch in them monsoons-
-watching people hopelessly struggle with their umbrellas as they get inverted over.
-the steady flow of abuses which the just dried pedestrian lets lose when some car goes over a puddle beside him/her.
-wet crows shaking off the wetness. It's hell funny, I tell you.
-a thousand people on any railway station with pants folded upto their knees, displaying the hitherto unseen insulation over the tibia and the fibula, as if they were all part of a giant pantomime.    



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