Life-hacks to Brace Yourself Against the Mumbai Monsoons
The word rain calls to mind hot chocolate toddies, or if you are bit more desi – cutting chai and piping hot onion bhajjis. The word rains can also bring to mind a deluge that pours on all and sundry with full gusto. If you fall in the ranks of people who think the latter, raise your hand. To you, we question. Are you a Mumbaikar? We are guessing, more often than not, the answer will be yes.
We know that there is a magic in the monsoons that the financial capital faces every year. Some might adore it, others abhor it, it’s safe to say that the average Mumbaikar has a fluctuating love-hate relationship with it. And only because the so-called magic, turns dark and it is a gamble even to walk – or more accurately wade – across the street. To the unchallenged as well as to the seasoned, we have put together a few tips to brace for the ever-changing frame of mind of Mumbai rains.
Rainwear: Get your weapons ready. A mere umbrella is like a feather to a crack in a dam when it comes to rains in the city. Against the constant and torrential downpour, an umbrella is as useful as a cocktail stick above your head while you jump into a pond. Invest in a good poncho or a raincoat. If you must have an umbrella, then make sure it has firm stretchers. Or else expect to be wrestling with an upturned umbrella every few minutes or so!
Footwear: When it comes to shoes, people say gumboots are the best but the reality, like always, is different. Unless the boots are at least six inches high, your feet are going to be swimming in a puddle of sweat and rainwater. A better option is open-toed shoes that have rubber soles. Heels and leather boots are going to be utterly destroyed with the first drop of water. So, all fancy shoes, expensive footwear, and flimsy slippers need to stay locked away in the closet. Don’t forget to put in those little baggies of silica gel beads to keep the mould away from your precious pairs!
Accessories: Your arsenal against the rains doesn’t stop here. The most crucial and fundamental thing that will save you is a Ziploc bag. As much as we comprehend the disaster plastic is creating on earth, we also know the invaluable work they do for us during Mumbai rains. Everything from phones to laptops to significant work documents can get soaked by the flurry of showers. So, carry small plastic bags with you, at all times. They are your best bet for protecting your essentials.
Extras, just in case: Always and it bears repeating, always keep a monsoon kit. If you have your own conveyance, then keep it in the car. If you use public transport, then keep it in the office. No matter how careful you are and how much you plan your travel by the weather, when it comes to the Mumbai rains, you will get wet. A small travel bag that has a change of clothes and shoes along with a towel and toothbrush is more than enough. The toothbrush is for that off day when you are unable to return home due to clogged roads. Such a day where the high tides and an avalanche of rain cause all forms of transport to stand still are rare. But, as the boy scouts say “Allzeit Bereit.”
The one indispensable piece of advice that will go a long way is to stay at home when the heavens really open up. Being forearmed for even a disaster will not save you the day the skies of Bombay decide to unleash themselves on us mere mortals. Instead of daring to wade through the metaphorical ‘open seas’ opt to work from home.
For the rest of the nation, the monsoon might just be one of the seasons. For the denizens of Mumbai, it is more of an emotion that can hit those who have yet to experience it, hard. To the workaholics and daily-wagers we hope these tips help you get ready to brave the dark magic of Mumbai rains. And if you want to just escape the torrents for a break, we are at your service!
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