Monday, July 18, 2011

Rain Romantic

Long term readers of my blog know that I love driving and have this thing for rains. So when I get to drive in the rains, I generally love the feeling. But lately, nature played a very wicked trick with me about rains and driving.
My office has 3 locations in Mumbai. 2 out of the 3 are quite close to where I stay, but the third one is far far away. To reach there, I have to cross rivers, climb mountains, fight fire-breathing dragons and drive through generally very congested roads.
Last entire week, I was summoned to the farthest office. Last week, Mumbai also experienced some very heavy rain days of this season. Naturally, I was all excited about the opportunity of driving in the rain.
Water logged roads
But I realized that driving in the rain though a romantic notion is completely different from “commuting in the rain”. The romantic notion assumes that you have empty roads in front of you, the rain is falling longingly on your wind shield and everything outside is pleasant, soothing and perfect.
While you commute, it doesn’t start that romantic. You are actually racing with million others towards your place of work. So there is a sense of urgency. For my commute, after I cross the fire-breathing dragons section, I get to drive through severely damaged roads. The only reason they could be called roads are because every other car is also on that piece of broken tar. I think this is the only place in the entire world where cars make a unique sound. The sound of your suspension bottoming out. That sound comes when your suspension is so badly compressed that the top end and the bottom end touch each other. My heart goes out to the pain that the car goes through when I drive in these potholes.
Anyways, after I am done with the crater section of the road then I come to the river section. I am not joking when I say that I have to drive through at least 2 feet of standing water in sections. Sometimes I feel, I should just switch of my engine, take out a paddle and start rowing my car in the river.
After I am done with all this, the last section involves getting stuck in traffic. That congestion brings out the worst amongst each one of us. No one wants to yield and we stick to each other’s bumpers so close that even a fly can’t fly between 2 cars. Sometimes I feel if we were not termed a “civil society” we would have pushed each other off the road to go ahead.
Anyways, the last of my romantic notions of driving in the rain is dead now. I have becoming a zombie commuting on Mumbai roads. Alas! Where do I go to seek romance now?

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