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   Bombay's monsoon people may be divided into two classes. (July 20, 1990)

Bombay's monsoon people may be divided into two classes.

There are those who reside at II Palazo and Urvashi and on rainy days decend from their dry apartments direct to their dry second basement garage to get into their vehicles and be driven to office. And there are those who reside in Bandra East and Kurla and walk through rain-swept and wind-shipped streets to croded railway stations and bus-stops.

Then again, there are those who reside on the upper floors of Kanchenjunga and Woodland and get up on rainy mornings and look out of their winodws and admire the monsoon skyline and the rain clouds sailing in from the horizon. And those who live in hutment colonies and do not have to look out of their doors to see if it is raining, because the water has come through in the night and flooded the floor.

There are also those staying in terrace flats on Little Gibbs Road whose problem on rainy mornings is whether the excess water would help or harm their plants, and whether they would leave the plants outside or instruct the gardener to bring them in. and those who live in ancient buildings in Khetwadi and Null Bazar and whose problem or rainy mornings is whether their building would finaly collapse or survive one more morning's rains.

There are those, maily ministers, who live in the last surviving bungallows on Malabar Hill and sit on their verandahs sipping tea and observing the rain in the trees. And there are those who live on the pavements of Frere Road and crouch under trees to protect themselves from the rains.

There are those who tell you at cocktail parties that the monsoon is their favourite season in Bombay. And there are those who say nothing.

There are those who are driven to work through mosoon streets, as they relax in the rear seats reading the Economic Times (Mr. Viren Shah reads the Economist, also Time and Netweek, according to Amit Khanna's Business Plus). And those who scuttle through the rain, holding their Indian Express copy over their heads to keep their hair from getting wet.

There are those who reach the office on time, tain or shine, without making any effort. And those who reach late in spite of making all efforts, in trains, buses, rickshaws, taxis and by foot.

And there are those who return home in the evenings as fresh and dry as they were when they left in the morning. And those who return home in the night, looking like drowned rats.

If you are enjoying the weather today, you belong to the first type. If not, you belong to the second.

 
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