Wednesday, May 31, 2006

The Monsoon scale of privilege

The Monsoons are here in Mumbai and how happy you are about that seems to be directly proportional to how wealthy you are.

If you're in the Upper Middle Class and above, it's a great time. The weather is cooler, there's a refreshing breeze and finally there's some relief from the unrelenting humidity and heat of summer. A perfect time to visit Lunavala, Mahabalashwar or some other hill station or just to relax in front of a window with a hot cup of cocoa.

If you're a part of the teeming Middle and Lower Middle Classes, your emotions are more mixed. On the one hand, your home and work environment are now much cooler, but you also face terrible problems in your commute, dripping walls at home, flooded compounds and a higher incidence of disease. You're still glad of the rains, but only for a while. Then it's back to struggling to ensure that you survive another deluge. No trips to the green ghats for you!

If you're a part of the multitudinous Poor, you're in deep, deep trouble. You're probably going to enjoy the season for all of one day, before your shack starts to float off. If you're lucky enough to have a shack. If you're living on the streets (and a very large percentage of Mumbai's population does just that), you're going to be reduced to holding off the rain with a plastic sheet drawn over yourself, while you soak from below. You're in for several months of misery, as you're forced to live in several feet of fetid gutter water, struggling to find something clean to drink. But hey, at least the demolitions of your homes is on pause! :-(

Enjoy the 'soons!

1 comment:

Karan Gandhi said...

Yes........... Thats the beauty of nature......... The rain falls on the rich and the poor, and the sunshines equally on all............ karan Gandhi