Free Press Journal

Up in the clouds…


When you say Juhi Chawla and rains in the same breath, the memory of her lying on top of a piano in a white sari in the song ‘Tu mere saamne…’ from DARR flashes in front of your eye. Even though she had to gyrate to the beats in heavy rainfall, she did it effortlessly because of her sheer love for the monsoon.

Bollywood loves the monsoon and that’s evident from our romantic scenes. Do you personally like the rains?

I love the Mumbai rains! Everything about them! The cloudy weather, the temperature drop, the rise in our greenery around, the lovely winds and the fresh smell of the earth! So yes, I really love the monsoons. It is my favourite time of the year.

Do you have a favourite monsoon getaway?
I actually don’t like to get away during the monsoons, and prefer being here in my city. Though, thanks to my kids, we do miss half of the rains as their holidays are in the month of June and July, hence we are usually travelling during those days. So by the time we get back from our holidays, there is just a month or so left. Though I prefer being in Mumbai during the rains and walking around with my umbrella, if I do have to go somewhere it would be some place nearby like Lonavala or Khandala, up the ghats. Solely because there the clouds literally come down on the ground level and you feel as if you are driving through clouds. The weather is nice and foggy and quite pleasant, which is just lovely!

When not working, how do you spend a lazy monsoon day?
Ideally one doesn’t want to be working on a rainy day due to the travelling woes, getting drenched, dirtyfeet, shoes getting wet and your hair never staying in place etc! So yes, these are the not so good things about the monsoon. What I like to do on a non-working rainy day is open all the windows in the house and let the breeze come right in! I love to feel the rain, go down around in my garden as well and just watch the rains! I love to curl up in bed with a nice book and eat some bhutta (corn on the cob) or drink some hot chocolate and just pamper myself.

The rains can also make one gloomy. What brightens up your mood on such days?
The rains actually make me quite happy, and what makes me feel a bit tired and not so happy are the summers! So it’s actually right now that I feel like ‘Oh god, these hot sticky days!’What is coming in the next one month is glorious!

What sort of food do you relish on a rainy day?
Some nice hot steaming bhutta with lemon and mirchi on it! French fries are something that I absolutely love! And Aloo Tikkis as well! As for drinks, maybe a nice cup of hot tea or hot chocolate works for me.Just some hot food because the weather is so cool.

Any particular dish that you cook and your husband is fond of?
So I am not much of a cook, but if I do try I can probably make an omelette or a nice paratha. So I’d be just able to get to something like that, as there isn’t much I can really cook.

Any funny monsoon memory from the past?
My monsoon memories are mostly the ones that are part of my childhood. I grew up in Mumbai, and used to live at Cuffe Parade, and I remember that due to the heavy rain, Cuffe Parade road would get flooded. So if it rained through the night, I would wake up in the morning to check if the roads were flooded, which meant no school! And if it did get flooded, a lot of my time would be spent just hanging around with friends from the building and looking out of the window to see people splashing around on the streets. I still remember, if we were at school and it rained heavily, they would grant us a half day. In my IX standard, many times my friends and I would walk back home in the rain. We would splash around the pavements, get drenched and just enjoy ourselves to the fullest!