The Drenched Vegetable Patch this Morning
Fresh Java Plums--in Season now
The Mumbai High Court--The Place where Sudhir practiced Law
The heady scented "Chaaphaa" Flowers
Intoxicatingly perfumed "Bakuli" Flowers
At last,finally last night the Weather broke !!There was a heavy downpour--not the usual one with loads of Attitude--the clashing,flashing kind but a much gentler,quieter steady downpour--and that really has brought up our spirits!!Of course I missed the awesome and glorious Fireworks but then the Heat and Humidity reduced considerably ---for which I'm immensely grateful as this makes for a very pleasant Climate change.There is still a long way to go for the Summer Heat to cool down to just warm---but the sweltering,blistering Heat has lessened!!
The Rains bring out all my hoarded Songs--Saxophone,Guitar and Piano instrumentals as well as the Oldies of Harry Belafonte,Frank Sinatra,Cliff Richard and Hollywood Film Themes.Both Sudhir and I loved "Singin' in the Rain" and that song would play at top volume after the first Showers all through the day.During the Rains we had a tradition of going out for Soups and the places we loved eating these was at The Wayside Inn and opposite it The Samovar---both situated at "Kaalaa Ghoda" so called because a statue of King George astride a Black Horse stood there before Independence.That the name has survived despite the removal of the Statue long back shows the kind of tendency we as a Country have of clinging to both our History and Past!!The one place I really miss visiting in the early days of the Monsoon is The Taj.
Since childhood Apollo Bunder or the Gateway of India has held a special place in my heart.Vacations in Bombay meant rides in the Horse drawn carriages called "Victoria" along the promenades of Apollo Bunder,Cuffe Parade and Marine Drive. The Marine Drive ended at Nariman Point and this was a long strip that stretched into the Arabian Sea.Here there was an open Air screen that showed various Documentaries.Next to it was a Stall selling yummylicious Vegetable and Chutney Sandwiches,Ice Creams,Cold Coffee and Sweet spiced Milk known as Masala Milk.Later the Land was reclaimed and by the 1970s the World Trade Centre complex and the Oberoi Sheraton--today called The Trident came up.
Atya,Sudhir's mother was my paternal aunt and they lived at Kemp's Corner while Gopal Kaka, my paternal Uncle lived in the Colaba----both being part of South Bombay--today called SoBo. Many of my evenings have been spent walking the Promenades,riding Victorias and eating the fabulous Mutton and Chicken Patties as also the excellent Fish and Chips at the Taj.Those were the days when the remnants of Colonialism still held sway.So Formals were a regular part of dressing up--casually dressed people were often than not turned away by the Hotel Durbans at the doors themselves!!When Sudhir and I got engaged we'd spend most of our evenings at the Taj or a tiny new Eatery called The Samovar.This was then a new addition to an Art Gallery called The Jehangir Art Gallery and was an arty affair set up in the long corridor like Verandah. The Verandah was completely open on the side facing gardens of The Prince of Wales Museum--and even today the ambience of Samovar in the Monsoons is awesome.
Sudhir and I would sit there for hours---holding hands under the table ( he didn't like to display emotion in Public) gazing out at the view of the heavy Rains turning the the parched Grounds into slush!!The huge Gardens are filled with many varieties of Flora and Fauna--and seeing the Water cascading off the folded leaves of the Rain Tree always made us smile.The Air would be redolent with the Scents of the wet Earth mixed with richly perfumed Flowers and wet Greenery was a deliciously intoxicating interlude!!