In 1940 Nehru wrote:
I have been to Bombay so many times, but I have never seen the coming of the monsoon there. I had been told and I had read that this coming of the first rains was an event in Bombay; they came with pomp and circumstance and overwhelmed the city with their lavish gift.
So I looked forward to the coming of the monsoon and became a watcher of the skies, waiting to spot the heralds that preceded the attack. A few showers came. Oh, that was nothing, I was told; the monsoon has yet to come. Heavier rains followed, but I ignored them and waited for some extraordinary happening. While I waited I learned from various people that the monsoon had definitely come and established itself. Where was the pomp and circumstance and glory of the attack, and the combat between cloud and land, and the surging and lashing sea? Like a thief in the night the monsoon had come to Bombay……Another illusion gone. [X]
M.V. Dhurandhar, 1940. Like much of his artwork, this one too has detailed costuming. A nine-yard irkal saree delicately hitched up, the khann blouse, kolhapuri chappals and the ubiquitous black umbrella of Mumbai monsoons of times past.
For some reason it reminded me of Hemen Mazumdar’s work in evoking a slightly wet world.