Mumbai might not have the cold weather that warrants a designer wardrobe of trenchcoats and jackets of varying lengths (heck, in Mumbai we actually pretend that a season called winter doesn’t even exist) but Mumbai Monsoon is the season we are truly proud of. Sheets of rain falling unceasingly, the honking of the slow, crawling traffic and the laundry that takes days to dry: these happen wherever it rains much. But, if you are a true Bombayite/Mumbaikar, you’ve got to do these 5 things before the rains say goodbye:
1. Walk the full length of Marine Drive
The Queen’s Necklace it is called and you can see the ‘diamonds’ twinkling (which look like champagne diamonds now because of the halogen lighting) when darkness sets over the throbbing city. On clear evenings, couples sit huddled on the parapet and fitness buffs walk/jog along the length of the Drive. But when it rains, and especially if the tides are high, the ante is upped big time. With the rains lashing from above and the waves from the sides, it is a unique thrill to walk along the parapet without being thrown off it.
2. Eat freshly roasted bhutta at Chowpatty Beach
Sweet corn soup and corn tikkis are nice to eat when it rains but nothing beats the pleasure of standing in the rain even as the buttawala fans the coals till they burn red and rotates the butta over it so it is evenly roasted. And then he rubs it all over with a wedge of lemon dipped in a mixture of salt and red chilli powder. You hold the butta with the leaves wrapped around the stalk and bite into those pearly grains (corny?) while walking in the rain. Heaven!
3. Drink Cutting Chai at Prithvi Café
If there is one space in Mumbai that naturally evokes one’s creativity, that place is Prithivi Café. It is an open-air oasis of greenery and looks especially enticing in the evening with baby lights twinkling in the trees. It is famous for its Irish coffee (you’ve had it, right! No?!?!? Go right NOW and have it!). But in the mumbai monsoon, it is the Cutting Chai you want to have, sitting inside the covered shacks even as the rain thrums down the roof.
4. Dance in the rain at a Water Park
Imagine lying down, head balanced against a rock and your body immersed in sea-water and the waves breaking over you in warm bursts and then receding and then coming back in a repeat of that sensuous experience. Can anything beat that? Yes, it can. Dancing in the rain, under the overcast skies, light shimmering under the feet. Get a luscious helping of both experiences in a water park closest to your place (though we love Water Kingdom, Asia’s largest theme waterpark). Every visit there will be a memory you’ll want to relive again and again till your next visit.
5. Play in the rains and the high waves at Worli Sea Face
Let your inner child come out and play. Enough said.
Ofcourse, the Mumbai Monsoon also means local trains running late, jam-packed BEST buses and autorickshaws and taxis refusing to ply. But that is a post for another day.