Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Monsoon Disorientation

You begin the day with great expectation. Freshly laundered and ironed trouser, fresh new shirt, crisp handkerchief, socks, all co-ordinated, all pervading a newness that exhilarates me after a hiatus of two days. Yesterday was the bandh (everything closed) and the day before was a Sunday. So I had two days to catch up on a lot of writing. Got some new insights which I have incorporated into the work-in-progress novel "Mr. Bandookwala, M.B.A., Harvard."

But a suburban train ride and two hours have passed. Those two hours changed everything. I am feeling as disoriented and as crumpled as a discarded tissue. The train was crowded and I was standing on my toes all along, beside people all wet, trying not to be stepped on the toes. My shoes are patent leather and I don't like them being stepped on, "Don't step on my blue suede shoes," so Elvis crooned in "Blue Suede Shoes." Ah, something similar.

Then at V.T. there's a vile and unrepentant rain falling. There's a sea emptying, and a sea of people being soaked to their bones, a huddle of wet bodies sullenly making their way to work. The Azad Maidan is flooded and a wary crowd wades through the water. I take a long cut, a detour via the VSNL telecom tower, then down Fashion Street to Bombay Gymnasium to New Marine Lines. The water's pouring down my umbrella, my starched trousers are soaked, the creases gone, my patent leather shoe is full of water, my shirt is wet and clings to my skin, and the bag with my lunch is also soaked. I am wet and in a dither which feeling stays through the day.

A sad twist to a promising day, the first of the really malicious storm that descends every year. But this monsoon too I have resolved to take nature and rain in my strides. That sounds brave.

No comments: