The messy monsoons are here in Mumbai (yeah I know we need rains, but it would be nice if they didn’t mess the city). Fred Astaire made singing in the rain with an umbrella famous, but you surely can’t try that in Mumbai. Walking with your umbrella held aloft would take the skill required by the Crazy Taxi in dodging other cars.
Your feet are sinking in muddy, messy water, you are trying to avoid puddles and there comes the competitive auntie with the huge umbrella. The competitive umbrella aunties are ones who think only they are in a hurry. They try to overtake you with as much vengeance as a motorbike rider who snakes his way through bumper to bumper traffic, unmindful of what happens to the rest of the world. This auntie will hit you with her elbow, her umbrella will get into your hair, she will jump into the puddle in her haste splashing water all over you.
The complete opposite of the competitive auntie is of course the I-am-out-for-a-stroll-in-the-rain aunty. This auntie will be walking to a tune of her own and most of these aunties are so bulky that they make it almost impossible to overtake them without stepping into some open gutter or some messy puddle. And while you try to do that, again your umbrella gets hit.
Then there is the corporate guy who has made getting his way a habit. So hitting your umbrella to retard your progress is something he enjoys. Pulling people down gives him a high. And one fails to understand why poking umbrellas in another’s hair is such a fun pastime!
Then there are the kids who jump around and splash water everywhere. Even if you are wearing three fourth pants, they will get wet thanks to these I-so-love-the-muddy-water kids. And their partners in crime are motorists with expensive cars who love to speed over puddles and make your white office wear brown. Aargh!
I know you will all tell me that I should stop using umbrellas and try wind cheaters or raincoats. But what the hell, my head is so small that none of the hoods stay on it. I hate rains.