Please note: This column was first featured in The Goan on Saturday.
It seems like nothing is going to change with me as far as an umbrella is concerned. I’m sure, I’m not the only casualty every monsoon who can’t handle an umbrella. It’s completely understandable that the rains in Mumbai this year have not just been heavy, but very ferocious as well. But that was not at all the reason for me walking around with my third umbrella of this season. I recently read a friend’s Facebook status that mentioned the tragedy of how her umbrella fell off a moving train and broke into pieces. Another friend left her ‘cute-baby umbrella’ (that’s what she liked to call it) in a cab and yours truly forgot the second umbrella in the train. But what happened to the first?
My first umbrella was a classic piece. It was gifted to me by my sister with a note stating, “I take good care of the gear as if it were my baby”. I took the note seriously, but only for a month. Last weekend, when I went trekking with my friends at work, one of my colleagues sprained his ankle and I offered my umbrella for support as he walked. Little did I know what was coming. After some time I realised that the wooden handle was like a frozen shredded chicken and the purple canopy looked devastated and incomplete without the handle.
The following day, I took a spare three-fold umbrella. At first, I couldn’t open it because it was jammed. I gave it some love and the gear reciprocated. I managed to take good care of the umbrella for three days. But then that day arrived when I had two bags in my hands and I needed to keep the umbrella somewhere as soon as I boarded the train. After letting go of a lot of hesitation and bad language from fellow lady commuters, I rested the umbrella on the luggage railing. Knowing how clumsy and absent minded I am, I thought of setting an alarm that would go off in half an hour. Alas! I forgot and I had to pay the price too. I forgot to pick up my precious umbrella before getting off at Lower Parel station. I realised it wasn’t with me only after the train left the station. Not that I could run and get it. Umbrellas lost in Mumbai locals are gone forever.
I couldn’t even think of spending a day without an umbrella considering the amount of showers the city is being blessed with. So on my way back from work, I stopped by a rain gear shop at Andheri station and purchased another classic umbrella. I will at least let it rest on my arm when it’s not being used. It’s easier to manage in a train as well.
A recent news piece reported that cops in Mumbai are banned from using umbrellas so that these cops remain vigilant and hands-free at all times while executing their duties. Taking a cue from here, I think, even I should cut some slack and (like the cops of Mumbai) invest in some fashionable raincoats for the monsoon. And if I lose this rain gear, heaven save me!
Image courtesy: Shop.InOnIt.in