InOnIt Lens: Decoding The Monsoons Vol II


No Way Out…

On my usual route to college, I often noticed this family sitting under the metro rail that is currently under construction on JP Road, Andheri.

I noticed them standing at the signal with a cycle selling balloons a few times last week.

However, this time I saw them on the parapet under the metro trying to light a fire out of a few pieces of wood and a match box. A cop came by and asked them to stop. Just when he left, I entered the scene and questioned them.

“What happened to the balloons you were selling last week?”

“They mostly burst due to the heavy rains and if we stand under the metro rail bridge it is way too far from all the vehicles, it is pointless.”

“So what will you do now?”

“We came to Mumbai from Rajasthan under the assumption that it is still summer time here. Only to realise the monsoon season has already begun. We left Rajasthan because it is raining there. You see, during the rains selling balloons is extremely difficult and expensive, most of the balloons burst and no circus or melas are open this time of the year”

“Okay, so are you planning to go back or stay here?

“Stay back and do what? Beg? No way, we know we are not rich but we also know that begging ensures nothing. My daughter in law washes vessels in a few houses and my son picks up logs near Andheri station. Once we have collected enough, we are heading back home. ”

For them the monsoons are nothing less than a curse. Yes, they enjoy a hot cup of tapri chai and some fried bhajjias, but that is because they are too cold and wet from the rain that puts out the little fire they manage to light.

- Margaret Jeyaraj

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