Well, the cup is synonymous with raindrops and an overcast sky. Grabbing a cutting as soon as the pitter-patter begins is almost a reflex action.
Whether you share it over some delightful conversation or while watching the outdoors, this is the hottest way to beat the gloom. Non-chai drinkers, try a cinnamon latte instead.
Head to Mocha for a chai-bun maska combo or even better, to Good Luck Café or your street vendor.
Garam garam bhajiya
Hunger pangs strike us automatically once the rain starts, with the craving for something straight from the stove. Buy some at the Singahad Fort after a climb or just make some at home.
Roadside food is a complete no-no, especially in the rains. But who can resist that piping hot corn on the cob, all sprinkled with lemon and chaat masala? Another option is the rural snack hurda — tender jowar grains with plenty of chilly and lemon.
Okay, chocolate can’t really be a seasonal treat, but warm, molten, gooey Nutella slathered on grilled toast never tastes as good as right now. Sandwich stalls on FC road, NIBM road and North Main Road, KP can help you out with this all-time favourite.
In a 'soup'
Hot soup is the ultimate accompaniment to a cold rainy day. More so, if you’re not in the mood to cook a full meal. Just put any veggies of your choice (anything from bottle gourd, carrots, onions to spinach, celery, mushrooms) in the cooker for one whistle, add water, a cup of milk and some salt and pepper seasoning and voila — soup for the rainy day soul!
The monsoons bring with it their own brand of couture. Mainly because you have to lock up most of your clothes and footwear to avoid them dying in the downpour. This means funking up what you have left.
Shocking pink, electric blue, bright orange gumboots with heels will make you stand out stark against the drab background of rain and grime. Head to MG Road and Laxmi Road to buy yourself a pair.
High humidity is the ultimate assassin to your lovely tresses. Frizzy strands are bound to become your constant worry. Don’t stress (and lose more hair in the bargain), use this as an excuse to get more frequent hot-oil treatments. Try local salons, or ask your mom/partner to give you one.
Thanks to the perfect temperature in the monsoon, your skin looks its best. Dry skin gets a rosy hue and the oily skin doesn’t look that greasy any more. So, save on skin care bills. Go shop instead!
Ok, so it’s impossible to stay dry next few months, especially on your commute. A trick to still look like the style diva, despite weather barriers, is to wear your drabby gear on the commute. Carry a trendy ensemble along and just change once you’ve reached.
Keep your cell phone dry
A primary priority must be to protect our most precious pet. Make it a point to keep your cell phone shielded from every single drop that the rain gods throw at you. Go buy your cell phone a cover now. And it is equally important for you to doubly protect it with plastic wrapping, in case your bag develops a leak.
Don’t weep for your toned calves. The arrival of the monsoons doesn’t mean you need to send your shorts to the loft. Use the slush as an excuse to hang on to those itsy-bitsy scorchers. Or skip to bermudas or knee length harem pants.
Now is the time to spice it up in the kitchen. Add tulsi, ginger, cinnamon, clove, cardamom and other condiments in generous portions while cooking to beat the viruses that accompany the rains uninvited.
The winged population comes out of hibernation in the rains. Our national bird, conspicuous by its absence year round, graces us with its colourful presence. The crooning of the peacock incidentally is supposed to be somewhat of an arrival call of the monsoons.
Sixty-seven per cent of our population unanimously rejoices at sight of the grey skies. Our farmers, the biggest fans of the rains are in full glory this time of the year and more rain means more food for all of us!
I know the girls love their trendy best friends. But once the rain starts knocking, stash your fancy bags inside and bring out those waterproof totes that you can utilise only in the monsoon.
Totes are these long rectangular bags (available plastic-coated, but in vivid colours and prints) and buy local as opposed to designer, cause you’ll be throwing them out come Diwali.
Plenty of modern apartments come with a comfy love-seat (or broad window sill); just perfect for two to snuggle up and watch the raindrops. Have one made right away if it didn’t come with your real-estate deal. Or call friends and family over for some stimulating conversation and a cuppa chai. Ask your local carpenter if he can make you one.
When it’s pouring outside, and if you wish to stay dry, use the time to catch up on your reading. You’re anyway motivated to stay put at home instead of gallivanting around. Try Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez.
The power-supply is going to play spoil-sport at the first hint of a downpour. Stock up on plenty of aromatic candles and decorative candle-stands to jazz up each room. They’re way more aesthetic than those rechargeable lamps. And besides, candle-lit dinners by default bring romance with them!
Sex it up
No power at home thanks to the fallen electricity poles? Withdrawal symptoms from your post-work tech-based routine of TV, laptop, and music could be put on hold for some more basic pursuits. Plus, there’s a nip in the air. What better to warm yourself up than by cuddling up? Use the time to re-connect.
If the rain has tossed your usual Sunday brunch/shopping/pool-party plans out of the window, don’t worry. Just organize a cards or board-games afternoon-party at your place and call your gang over.
Make it a post-lunch session so you don’t have to feed the lot, and some simple yummy snacks and drinks would suffice. Not fans of gambling? Arrange a gaming competition on your PSP instead!
Most of us don’t ever get to watch as much television as we yearn for. So, make the most of the sluggish weather and stay indoors with your new best friend, your remote.
Call in ‘flooded’ from work and rent some DVDs of flicks and shows you may have missed, if the idiot-box isn’t showing anything interesting? Recommendation: Catch up on True Blood.
It’s wet and cold and clammy outdoors, so there’s nothing more gratifying than tucking yourself away into bed with a quilt. Set your alarm 30 minutes earlier than usual, only to slam it shut, and snooze a little longer. This way you trick your mind into believing you’ve got your extra winks. On a Sunday, lock that clock away completely.
Don’t feel like getting all dressed and stepping out for dinner, but bored with ghar ka khana? Organize a barbecue. All you’ll need is veggies/meat marinated in curd cum spices for a couple of hours and the barbecue grill (borrow it from your neighbour if you don’t own one) and spend an enjoyable evening stoking your meal.
The rains are a legitimate excuse to get down and dirty, in your garden that is! Grow your very own little vegetable patch with anything from kadipatta to coriander to basil, since it’s easiest to maintain in the rains, watering is taken care of automatically.
Give your nightly mug of coffee a break and indulge in some delicious hot cocoa that you’ll only enjoy in this climate. Sprinkle some chocolate flakes or whipped cream to enhance your senses. With a bit of rum, it’s a great bed-time beverage since it lulls you into a sound sleep.
Probably the best part about the rains is the natural coolness that descends on the city, giving your ACs a rest, along with your electricity bill!
The rains have a tinge of their own musical harmony to them when they beat down the earth, which adds our desire for some melodies. Pass up regular metal and choose some old classics, Indian instrumental or poignant gazals, to lift your spirits.
There is something about this whole wet weather that seems to inspire the creatively inclined. So, writers, painters, dancer, musicians, illustrators, anybody that works on that tone dig deep — this is the time you’re gonna come up with something truly unique.
Wine is a drink that I find able to truly savour only in these few chilly days. Break open a tangy red merlot or a sweet blush zinfandel and share it over dinner and delightful discussions.
No time like the monsoons to build yourself a pretty hammock. Whether in you're in the patio, balcony or bedroom near the window, hang one up, in a sturdy material though. Read, hook up with ur ipod or take a nap. They’re available to buy at any departmental store.
Go green here folks, we mean the wilderness. Trekking could become your workout, primarily, because the weather is just right. No more dehydrating summers! Sinhagad is your obvious choice, but there’s a huge Sahyadri terrain nearby, explore it! Maybe Trekdi can help.
Done to death, but always recommended. Many resorts offer fabulous deals in the monsoons (since it’s off season). So, make the most of it, what you save can be used for another mini-holiday sometime later. Goa, Mahabaleshwar and even Kerala are good for budget breaks this time of year.
Clear your head and grab some fresh air. Get your umbrella/raincoat out and go for a nice long walk.
We always seem to find excuses to shield ourselves from the rains. It’s just water. Stop running away from it and enjoy the showers. Splash around in puddles, like you did when you were a child. Just make sure you scrub up well once you’re back in.
Monsoon for sport-lovers equals water sports! With a strong current, river rafting and kayaking never seemed so much fun. Head to the Kundalika River, or near Mulshi, or even closer home to Panshet.
Rains transforms the outskirts into a “city of waterfalls”. Put on your swimsuit/tracks and head to any of these creeks to organise your own rain dance around the waterfalls at Mulshi, Varasgoan, Lonavla, or anywhere else you want to stop at.
Want to take your special someone on a date, but are bored of the routine coffee-movie-dinner? The monsoons give you the option of going on a long drive. For those without a car, things get even better — a bike gives you closer proximity! NH4 zindabad!
Your morning walks and/or evening jogs are going to go for a toss when the first drops hit, so indulge in some sports during the next few months. Be it football or golf, there is a certain charm to sweating it out in the rains. ? Pay up the guest fees if you’re not a not club member.
The streets even after one big shower start resembling a giant lake. You can’t beat it, so why not just join the fun. There are inflatable rubber boats available everywhere, just use an air pump to make your own little transport system and help ‘stranded’ people get home.
Knead those knots
Monsoon brings with it a certain laziness, you're always feeling sluggish. Why not take that a notch higher? With the cool temperature, make massages the ‘you’re catching a break’ activity; and slip into deeper bliss! Try the wide range of therapies at Sohum Spa, KP
Enjoy the traffic jams
Okay, so the monsoon means endless traffic jams, but instead of cribbing, take advantage of them. Those with a four-wheeler appoint a driver just for this season and do somthing while you wait — work, read, catch up on music, chat with friends.
Despite the awesome feeling of being indoors you will want to get out sometime, but where in this slush? The talkies! It’s indoors, clean and air-conditioned; catch up on your Bollywood/Hollywood/regional movie watching.
Watch the act
Pune now has opened its creative doors to theatre, something we didn’t get to experience much earlier, a wise choice on a rainy evening ? Entre Nous and Niche Stagekraft keep putting up monthly English plays, or else Bal Gandharva is always showing Hindi/Marathi plays on most weekends.
Monsoons are one season where you mustn’t be without a partner; watching the rain while sipping chai, a long monsoon drive or a walk in the rains, you have to have someone’s hand to hold, so even if you’re not in ‘love’. Grab onto a hottie for the time being!
Bring out your camping gear and set up a tent in your backyard. Just make sure it doesn’t collapse while you’re at it! And if it does, then you always have the warm and dry comfort of your home to beat a hasty retreat to.