Posted on 02 July 2011.
Ah!!! Its the splendid Kerala Monsoons again. If there is one thing that is a MUST-DO in your list of things to do in a lifetime, then it would be to enjoy Kerala in all its Monsoon glory! It is Monsoon time here. And it has been raining and giving a new lease of life to ‘namma Cochin’. We are not fortunate to enjoy all the four seasons and the excitement that surrounds the onset of each- the brightness of summer, the enthusiasm of the spring, the colours of autumn and the chillness of winter. We just have the sweatiness of summer and dampness of the rains. Duh! But atleast we are better off than many. Like a friend in the UAE jokingly remarked, they have three seasons too – summer, light summer and heavy summer! So Iam not complaining at all. The summer has given way to the rains. The crankiness has given way to wistfulness. From wanting to have tall, chilled glasses of fruit juices, bowls of smoothies or tubs of frozen ice creams all the time, now I want to have steaming cups of coffee, hot chocolate or some home-made soup. Green veggies and fresh fruits were the comfort food for summer. Now its all french fries, chicken tikkas and spicy biryanis. Or banana fritters, if you want to go all ‘naadan’. From wanting to switch on the AC all the time (all the while mentally calculating the electricity bill), I just want to cuddle up under layers of blanket. Watching a mushy movie or reading a romantic book also seem like a plan. The images that play in my head are changing too. The image of pretty peasant tops in pristine white, floral summer dresses in pastels and lovely skirts in crisp cotton are giving away to cozy woollen sweaters and quilts.
My first memories of the rain are puddles, bright umbrellas and colourful raincoats. The monsoons often coincide with the school reopening. And it’s a happy-sad feeling. Feeling sad that the much-lovely ‘free-of –homework’ vacations,- spend playing with the cousins and sleeping late into the noons- have come to end. But quite happy to move up in the grade, to probably have a new class teacher and excited to wear the new uniform, carry new school bag and wear brand new shoes. And I would be wrapping my arms around my new bag fearing that it would get wet, successfully avoiding the smaller puddles, only to fall into the biggest one!!! The effort of balancing the umbrella against the wind, getting dirty with the speeding cars splashing muddy water, the fear of writings being ink-stained ,all put together would tire me out. And I wouldn’t want to step out in the rain again. Then I grew up, went to college, carried fewer books and stopped fretting over them. I learnt to balance the umbrella and even to accommodate more people under one, mastered the art of avoiding puddles, and suddenly rains became such good fun. I found a new thrill in getting drenched.¬¬
Years passed. Now I have a strange relationship with rain. At one hand, rains are such joy! They infuse a new life into me, makes me want to write and dream and write more and envelopes me with a certain sense of goodness. The smell of wet earth, a fresh lease of life, glistening roads. greenery and the chill in the air – such a beautiful imagery. On the other hand, rains are such a pain. Slush all around, traffic jams, lesser outings – it can spell doom. And yet at other times, it can trigger a sudden flurry of memories, a feeling that your fond, childhood days are rushing to you. . There is something about the rain that makes me nostalgic. So now I prefer to sit alone by the window, watching the rain, sipping on a cuppa steaming coffee and revisiting old memories – both beautiful and wonderful.
Despite everything, I still love to romanticise the rain. All those years of watching Indian movies would not have been for nothing.