Rains have a special love affair with Mumbai and Bollywood. For some, it evokes romance, nostalgia while others it brings back memories of waterlogged streets to daily commute problems. Bollywood directors have traditionally had a soft corner for rain. There is something in the rain that makes us nostalgic. That makes us think of childhood, college, years gone by.
Ruskin Bond is one of my favourite authors. When it comes to writing about life, hills, nature and rain, Bond scores above everyone. This is a very personal feeling and one can argue at length. 'Rain in the Mountains' is one Bond book that I admire because of its simplicity. Bond captures every day of mountain life with unparallel ease.
“It is always the same with mountains. Once you have lived with them for any length of time, you belong to them. There is no escape,” Bond writes in the book. But this is not about Mussourie now. It's about Bombay. Err...Mumbai. And if you have lived in Mumbai, you can't escape the rain either. Rains are an integral part of the maximum city. When it rains after a lengthy dry spell, the smell of rain soothes your senses.
In the era gone by, the water-soaked streets of Bombay would have forced you out to the Marine Drive stretch for a walk in the rain. Remember the iconic Kishore Kumar Song, "Rim Jhim Gire Sawan" starring Amitabh Bachchan and Mosuami Chatterjee. Rain, Bollywood songs and a trip to your favourite Bada Paav stall in the late afternoon...Mumbai has a special place for monsoon.
From Raj Kapoor and Nargis's iconic Pyar Hua Ikrar Hua rain-song, movie Shree 420 (1955) — where the love-stuck couple can't take the gaze away from each other under an umbrella — to Rajesh Khanna-Zeenat Aman's super-hit song Bheegi Bheegi Raton Mei ( Ajanabee-1974), Hindi filmmakers have exploited the romance rain drives. Bombay has been an integral part of this special love affair between Bollywood and rain.
Kishore's hit song Rim Jhim Girey Saawan, picturised near the Marine Drive depicts the Bombay of early 80s. The backdrop is of old victorian buildings, open spaces, roads where you can breathe and soak in the rain. Amitabh Bachchan and Mousami Chatterjee run through the streets, holding hands, soaking the rain, Bombay weather and of course basking in L-O-V-E. Those who have seen that Bombay will miss the years gone by.
Here's a clip from the song. Don't miss the open spaces and the Bombay roads.
It won't be wrong to say that Bollywood has made the maximum city's rain even more special.
But these days, come monsoon and you are filled with photos, videos and memories of waterlogging. Last week was no different. All through last week, it rained heavily. Until Sunday morning, Mumbai received a total rainfall of 2,526mm -- surpassing the annual average with over 50 days of monsoon still left.
ICYMI: Rain in Mumbai And Postcards From The Week Gone By
While rain evokes the romance and nostalgia in the city, it also poses routine challenges for people. The IMD has predicted more rains until Thursday (August 13). Rains are here to stay for a few weeks. While there is no doubt that Mumbaikars know how to enjoy the rain, they will have to advise the route advisory and take precautions.
We bring to you some postcards of rain in Mumbai from the week gone by. We also request you to send your rain photos to us through Twitter or Facebook.