Mausam Bada Beimaan Hai: Our Weather is the Great Indian Unifier


Mausam Bada Beimaan Hai: Our Weather is the Great Indian Unifier

Illustration: Sushant Ahire


t has been raining incessantly for over a week in Lucknow. As someone who has had the contrarian pleasure of spending many a rainy season in Mumbai, it doesn’t seem like a big deal to me. The rest of the denizens of this Awadhi city, however, beg to differ. Schools shut down the moment playgrounds are flooded – a possibility unlikely in Mumbai, where schools do not have playgrounds to begin with. (And when they do, flooding is usually the least of their concerns.) Of course, Lucknow’s infrastructure is not prepared to deal with rains at this scale. Neither is Mumbai’s, but at least Mumbai’s supposed “spirit” can always be called upon to fill in the gaps.

My mother, meanwhile, has converted this extreme weather into a competitive spectator sport. Every morning, I wake up to long-distance phone conversations with at least 20 minutes’ worth of weather updates, discussing 13 reasons why it is pouring in Lucknow while it is dry as dust in Gwalior. The scrutiny is held in such detail and retrospective accuracy, it could put the entire weather department to shame. Every change of season warrants swapping of detailed notes on such important issues like, why the hell does Mumbai have no winter?