The roofs drip waste,
peeling plasters flutter in the wind,
as the asbestos sheets threaten to come crashing.
The stench that defines this place now washed away,
the by-lanes are mini streams and hold a threatening sway.
One room houses, jam & jostle beside the drain,
the temporary tarpaulins covering the roofs, offer little resistance to the rain;
the bricks to stop them too feeble to fight,
just like the people inside.
We fight our battles everyday for a bit of food and shelter,
that offer no comfort for the ill and sick – they might as well have been on the street.
The choking gutters, spreading out our waste like valuables for all to see,
the dampness dampens our spirits, pervades our being,
this claustrophobic slum life in Mumbai is our misery.
Yet, you’re always welcome,
Oh beautiful rain! Your pattering drops momentarily dull our pain,
the accompanying wind tugs at our clothes and our troubles,
isn’t that why we find him so lovable?
As the thunder clouds gather, we feel our spirits lift,
our faces upturned with expectation and smiles,
we realize although a burden, life is still a gift.
And in those precious few moments,
we know we are equal in the eyes of nature – she treats us all the same.
Rain – the life giver!
From the cosy confines of my verandah, I watch the rain as my maid serves me tea,
I snuggle deeper into my wicker chair, knowing I can pull out the awning if it threatens to wet me.
The spray off my whitewashed railing wets my face, the gentle breeze grazes my cheek,
I breathe in the scent of the earth, this moment precious, gives me the peace I seek.
The sea in the distance dances her joy, her waves leaping up to touch the drops,
I sense the play and the glee of the firth, one can hear the roar and the joyful mirth.
The sky is a deep hue, the trees verdant green, the earth deep brown, the hitherto dusty leaves sport now a sparkling sheen;
The birds watch from their in the nests, the dance of the plants in the pots,
all the living – old and young, yes we’re all besot.
And for a while all life pauses, to pay homage to this wonder called rain.
(The rain from the perspective of the rich and the poor in Mumbai)