Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Monsoon



"The Eency Weency Spider went up the water spout
down came the rain and washed the spider out
out came the sun and dried up all the rain
and the Eency Weency Spider went up the spout again
up, up, up and down
up, up, up and down".

This poem still reverberates in my memory, it seems quite ironic to me, b'coz I struggle to remember things that have occurred just hours earlier, but this poem which was taught, probably when I was in my kinder garden has a strong presence in my mind. I remember how I used to try and rhyme up with the class, chat the poem along with the teacher but all while being oblivious of the classroom. My eyes would be glued towards the corridor window, craning my neck as far as possible, and trying to look for the familiar face of my mother who would be waiting outside in the downpour, to collect me and take me home. The rainy season had started, and the schools had re-opened after the summer vacation hiatus.

How I would run to my mothers arms, as i was scared stiff of the rain, the new surrounding, the strange people and toddlers all around, neither ammuma (grandma) nor muthachan (grandpa) were anywhere near to console me (as i had joined a new school in Bombay, a world apart from the sleepy town of Trichur where i spent the early years of my childhood under the care and guidance of my grandparents). Then once in the safe arms of my mother we would walk our way back to our flat, i would enjoy the rain, talk incessantly about anything and everything to my mother, much to her amusement and joy. Childhood, rain, innocence, its something that we had taken for granted but now i its something that i really feel deprived of, the innocence of our mind and yes of course " RAIN".

The media is splashing a grim scenario of drought as a result of delayed rains and some so called El-Nino effect, scaring the daylights of anyone who switches on the TV. The met department is trying their best to predict rain, and have promised that rain will kiss the Indian soil by the start of July, much to the relief of the UPA government, who are looking skywards to find some relief and respite from a possible drought and that too in a economic condition that is hanging by the precipice in quite a precarious position. While all this is happening, i couldn't help to resist my memories of rain in my native land of Kerala.

I haven't traveled a lot, but with the limited amount of travel that i have had, and with the knowledge of how other places look when in monsoon by the various programmes aired in discovery and other such channels, i have found that there is no other place that will give the true pleasure and sense of satisfaction that one can have from a rainy day such as that we have in Kerala. You might argue that here comes a statement that is yet again a prejudiced one, and probably biased as i hail from Kerala. Well i wouldn't comment on that, it can be true, but i must say that, i am being as honest as it can get, and voicing my opinion in a very neutral tone, as i have spent almost half of my life till now in Bombay and the other half in Kerala. So i suspect that i am being fair when i mention that Kerala is at its peak of pristine beauty just after the heavy showers have abated and it’s just the calm and the occasion drizzle after the fiery rains.

How i would love to be in that climate, given the opportunity i would love to run back to Kerala from Bangalore for a couple of weeks just to enjoy the rain and be in that state of bliss for some time.

How i would love to sit near the veranda and watch the rain wash down from the thatched roof and flow in thick muddy streams and form a puddle in our land.

How I would love to visit Vadakumnathan temple, tugging along with muthachan while he narrates stories and information on various things.

How I would love to hear the ladies sing hymns in praise of the lord just after the evening pooja, while I get wet in the slight drizzle and all the smell of the incense sticks, camphor, temple lights and the clanking of bells would add to a more spiritual high.

How i would like to sip on tea and watch the rain along with the thunder and lightning that it would create such a good music and lighting effect that it would mesmerize me and take me into a trance!

How i would rush with the paper boats and run all along the land(parambu), barefoot screaming at the top of my voice and getting soaked to the skin.

How my friends and neighboring kids would wander out and join me in this act, which if done here in Bangalore then probably we would be labeled as crack pots.

How good it would have been if we were able to play football in the thick of the rain, in the ground in front of first hostel, usually only the very mad would venture out for this kind of adventure.

How high would our adrenaline flow when we scale the mountains behind the hostel for having a bath in the temporary falls as a result of the rain.

How we enjoyed the bath in the temple pond, while it rained cats and dogs and an occasional "neerkooli" (a harmless water snake) passed by, much to the amusement and fear of some of us in the pond.

How high we would get, while getting drenched in the rain and sipping "naadan kallu"
(A type of toddy made from coconut tree saps) all this while we cruise slowly in a house boat that cuts through the placid Vembanad kayal in Allepy.

How the smell of the mud would arise from the ground with the fresh rains!

How the festivities of Onam would be celebrated just after the "naatuvela", (i think that onam comes just after the naatuvela, which is nothing but one part of monsoon when the rain gets quite fierce).

The list is endless, the stories surrounding it are countless, the memories abundant, but here i am ,quite redundant, wondering when will i have the time and opportunity to enjoy the above moments for at least once before i go six feet under!

8 comments:

parag menon said...

After reading through your article i felt quite nostalagic, and i have to say that i envy you as you have got an oppurtunity to enjoy monsoon in such a way. I hope some day even i will cherish my moment of monsoon joy.

Sabarish Chandrasekharan said...

He comes down the track and hoists a SIX!!! superb blog...i love it.Nobody can even substitute beauty of monsoons in our land..Rains are very special to us malayalee's and i have heard from quite a few people say "Naadinte orma varunnu" when it rains. Football in the muddy paddy fields, driving bikes in the rain for no reason at all, a swim/paddle in the kalpathy river (with waist high water at most places), racing with my sister to get the clothes in the terrace amma had kept for drying, chutti from watering those hibiscus and rose plants in backyard (they just cant get enough water ever)..the list goes on..

Raghu said...

yes, you are right Shabbu ! I am sure that i will make time atleast for a day to do as i would have loved to , just enjoy the rain and get soaked in it, let all the bygones be bygones and let the bad emotions, vibes, stress, tensions etc ebb way with the rain, atleast for one day , i wish i could live , think and enjoy like a child!

thulasi menon said...

Oh how i hate you for having posted this blog!!I'm missing the rains back home like crazy..there's so much similarity in my memories of the monsoon to yours!I just wish i could go back in time n be a kid again!well, I guess that's what everyone wishes for...but anyways, this one brought back so many memories!great job!:)..but I still hate u for reminding me of what I'm missing!:)

~ manish ~ said...

Akkare nikkumbol ikkare pacha... :-)
I agree rains r nostalgic n romantic but not when u r about to leave the college forever and it keeps raining non-stop for days together n u have no other option but sit inside the hostel watching it.

But the Ghats behind the college is looking awesome. We had gone to the waterfall last week. Will post the pics. :-) Sure u wud love them.

Shajean said...

agree with Manish.. "Akkare nikkumbol ikkare pacha... :-)"

If you have enough time to relax and enjoy the rain it's the best.. but otherwise f*** the rain.. I was working from home for 2 weeks 'cos of rain.. I love rain..:)

Raghu said...

well, i am sorry that you both hate the rain so much! It might be case of the pasture being greener on the other side, but beleive me i love rains, probably the monsoon that has wreked havoc in our land right now, well thats not exactky what i mean by rain. Those are really a overdose of monsoon, but as the saying goes, "athikam aayal amruthum vesham".

Sabarish Chandrasekharan said...

driving car on a rainy night on a busy traffic time... nothing can be crazier than this..with wipers blazing & lot of lights..those sharp turn and if your at 70 miles/hour and my limited driving skills it can be real crazy...i pray all my gods at that time..one of the few times i can avoid rains :)