In the midst of this, the news that we have been having more than the average rainfall for the last over 15 years; and then, the news that this year, at least, rains have been truant and the entire country is facing a deficit of from 20-50% rainfall.
Mumbai's case is a lot more peculiar than the one faced by other parts of India; in Mumbai, 150 million Mumbaikars depend on the various lakes around their city for their water needs. These lakes, including the Vaitarna, Bhatsa, Tulsi, Tansa, Vihar and the Upper Vaitarna - need to fill up completely for the Brihanmumbai Mahanagarpalika (quite a mouthful, isn't it?) - or the BMC - to supply unrestricted water to all the parts of the metropolis.
This year, Mumbaikars had to face the axe as the BMC first imposed a 15% cut, and then increased it further to 30 % as the dry spell continued to have its dark shadow upon us. Then, the rains came liberally, and we saw almost 20-25 days of good monsoon from late August to mid-September. The water cut was reduced to 15% as a result of this. Presently, September was ending and October was nigh upon us when the clouds gathered again over Mumbai, and within a few days, it was raining heavily!
I had already stowed away my raincoat, and had to bring it out once again last Monday! This unexpected rain was actually a reflection of the very heavy rains that lashed areas of East Maharashtra, North Karnataka and West Andhra Pradesh; here, there were flash floods and millions of people lost their homes and hundreds lost their lives.
However, the rains provided succour, and helped re-fill the lakes around Mumbai. This was, in a way, good news to the Mumbaikar, as the lakes now have enough water to last till the middle of May 2010. However, the BMC has maintained the 15% cut and is likely to do so to prevent any unforeseen problems.
For me, personally, the rainy season is a time for more professional work, while for my better half, who runs a salon, it is a bit of a business dampener. For my daughters, it is something in between a blessing and a curse, since it leads them to the pleasures of getting wet and dancing, so to say, while at the same time, reducing their outside activities and even school attendance.