Mumbai rains: revel in the muck

Hard to believe but this is a view of one of the most expensive localities of the city. A murky shade of brown envelopes us as the dust comes trickling down the concrete structures and billboards.

Stuck in a traffic jam on a water clogged road, there is little else to do but watch the water pouring down the windscreen to the fascinating chorus of “here comes the rain again” by the Eurythmics.

The rain brings out the dancer in this little school kid who enjoys kicking a puddle furiously, right in the middle of the road.

Mumbai has some beauty spots, like the worli sea face, a great place to be stuck in jam; at least you can look at the lashing waves on the sea wall as you wait to get a move ahead.

Gusty winds, lashing waves and a whole bunch of people with flimsy umbrellas are the predictable sightings on a rainy day in Mumbai. This is on Chowpatty, one of my favorite spots for a rain walk.

The predictable aspects of an unpredictable monsoon: The trains will stop, the bus services will be disrupted, tv anchors will scream disaster from on top of their voices, the MET department will make inaccurate predictions, commuters will be stranded, Mumbai’s brave work culture will be lauded…..

The ghost of the floods that drowned the city in 2005 may exist (see potholes behind) but the euphoria of walking and getting wet is far more palpable as you can see on the face of this happy citizen.

Among the biggest challenges faced by the Mumbai Municipal Corporation is ensuring that the history of flooding that saw dung on the faces of its office bearers is not repeated. The method they employ is mostly an ancient one, they keep their fingers crossed.

As the average Mumbaiwallah complains about the plight of the city’s infrastructure a BMC garbage collector goes about ensuring the dirty work is done. There is a rumor that garbage is mostly managed efficiently only in those areas where the government officials or wealthy live.

Getting out instead of getting home is what the rains do to most people in this city. Munching ‘seng” (freshly roasted peanuts) or ‘Bhutta’ (coal roasted corn) is what attracts the pedestrians.

Marine Drive or the queen’s necklace is a popular place for people to walk, amble along, romance and generally while away some time on a rainy day. The crows are always waiting for the right opportunity to pick on someone’s snack.

Mumbai’s beggars and the apathy towards them is an age-old problem of this city. The barefoot street kid crosses the road like a sprinter not afraid of slipping or falling on the wet road.

One of the other common sightings are male companions sharing umbrellas designed for women. A phenomena that leaves me baffled about their sexual orientation. This is at the famous Gateway promenade near the Taj.

There is a belief among Mumbaikars that they should expect a traffic jam in case the signals are being manned by traffic policemen. Their lack of training in coordination may be faintly visible in the body language of this cop posted on duty here.

This is an endangered species of cabs in Mumbai. The 1970's Fiat taxies are under the scanner with the traffic department and are steadily being replaced by Cool cabs. Strange that this one is parked in front of a hair dressers parlor also dating back to the 70's!

This is an endangered species of cabs in Mumbai. The 1970’s Fiat taxies are under the scanner with the traffic department and are steadily being replaced by Cool cabs. Strange that this one is parked in front of a hair dressers parlor also dating back to the 70’s!


About shabnamphoto

I'm a graphic artist with a passion for photography. I like to tell a story with my pictures. Sometimes a picture may speak on its own and at other times it may need an explanation. I'm intrigued by the ordinariness of life and enjoy documenting my life in the light and shadow of what surrounds me. Be it people, landscape, flowers, architecture or birds, the camera helps me see what I wouldn't with my naked eye.
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13 Responses to Mumbai rains: revel in the muck

  1. Shweta Patel says:

    Nice capture …..


  2. iya says:

    i particularly like rhapsody in the rain. very pretty shot.


  3. Blood-Ink-Diary says:

    Gosh, Shabnam, I can never get tired of looking at your art! What a brilliant and stunning photographer you are — but you already know this na?! I don’t know why umbrellas were ever created — just walking in the pouring rain is so beautiful. kaash main wahan hotee!!! Loved your photos, lovely Shabnam!
    dil shaad rahiyen, meri dost.


  4. You have a gift to capture the moment, giving life to it. Impressive series that shows interaction between humans over nature, progress, possible dangers and the daily world events called “Life.” Thanks.


  5. Anonymous says:

    Need to come down for my monsoon fix soon. Really nice as ever.


  6. rupa gulab says:

    Oh Shabs, sigh. Thanks so much for these. I’m weeping with nostalgia in dry and dusty Gurgaon.


  7. Water pouring down do great things with your photos, Shabnam. But I like them with sunshine too.. πŸ˜‰


  8. Oh man i miss Mumbai,I miss rains,I miss everything that was mumbai…Delhi sucks
    Beautiful shots Shabnam….very soothing


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