We all know that the Arabs come to Bombay to see the rains. Well this year, at least so far, there had been no rains and all the Arabs were disappointed and their children kept saying this was no holiday and they would like to go somewhere else.
So, this morning, when all the Arabs got up in their hotel rooms at Taj, Oberoi and Diplomat and saw the rains, their joy knew no bounds and some of them felt as they had felt when they had first discovered oil in their backyards at a time when oil prices were high and the world was being made to pay through its noses for its fuel.
And some of the Arabs rang up the management's of their hotels and thanked them for having provided them with rains. And when the bearers came in with tea and breakfast and buttermilk, they gave them thousand-rupee tips and Seiko wristwatches.
And when the Arab children got up, who like children everywhere get up later than their parents, the adult Arabs took them to the windows and pointed to the grey skies and heavy showers and told them: "Look, look Rafiq, there are the rains. "This is what you came the way from home to see."
And the children, for once, forgot to play in the lifts of the Taj and instead went out on the Apollo pier and got wet. And old Arabs had tears in their eyes as they watched the rains. "Allah has given us oil, but not rains," they said. But they were happy that the rains had come and they had seen them once again, and their children had seen them once again, and their children's children had seen them for the first time.
And, later in the morning, the Arabs were walking up and down Colaba Causeway in the rains, buying up all the umbrellas, which the shop keepers were selling to them at the pre-fall-in-international-oil-price rates.
And the management at the Oberoi was planning a special lunch for the Gilf Air and Saudi Airlines crew, the Arab consul-generals and their regular Arab clients.
And the consul-generals were wondering whether they should send a joint letter to the chief minister thanking the Maharashtra government and its tourism department for showing such hospitality to Arab visitors by providing them rains.
So even though it is dark and gloomy and depressing and rainy today, if you see an Arab on the road, wish him-"Have a nice day." Because that is exactly what he is having.