I could hear the sound of thunder inside the office building as I was getting ready to go home. I just prayed it won’t rain as I walked towards the bus which is parked 5 mins away from my office building. I could smell the rain as I stepped out. I could see people rushing to get to their respective buses as fast as possible to escape the possible downpour. But you never know with rains here. It thunders, drizzles and then stops. Sometimes just out of the blue it rains more than one can predict. But this is usually when it is off-season or just before the monsoons. So I can’t say the monsoon is here. It might not rain at all for the next 2-3 days.
Summer is almost over, the monsoon should have been here by now, but seems like it is delayed, something to do with winds not blowing from south India. Whatever. When it is summer, it is so HOT, you can hardly venture out of the house without burning your skin, literally, summer in my city, Pune, is scorching unlike Mumbai where it is sticky and humid.
Rains remind me of ducky boots; of childhood rain coats, of purposely coming home drenched and saying I couldn’t help it, of one of those days when you say “Oh, mom, it was not ready to stop”. It reminds me of romantic walks, of hot tea and mom’s snacks. Of wet, clinging saris, folded jeans, colorful umbrellas, puddles, of long drives, of trekking on the mountains and near by hill stations, flashes of lightening, sounds of thunder and of rains clattering on rooftops and concrete.
But now as I sit and write this, the first thought that comes to my mind when I think of monsoon is Sinhagad, a fort situated on a small hill. One has to trek to go to the top. My college days were filled with so many of these treks. Moving out of the house at 7.00 in the morning and returning when night falls, sometimes by train, sometimes by bikes. Those were the days, no tension, and no work.
The memories are filled with mist, fog and waterfalls at every corner. Though I’m still excited to visit places, it isn’t the same carefree excitement.
(The pic shows sinhagad from various spots, can’t help but marvel at the play of colors)
India has always been a very colorful country, but the colors become so prominent in the monsoon. One can see school kids in various colored rain gears, colored umbrellas. It fills color into a drab of a rainy day. Monsoons are also filled with sounds of motorists cursing on the sudden discovery of a puddle while driving, the promises of better roads next monsoon, and promises of better flood prevention systems.
The excitement fades, as water fills up the streets, in someone’s house, outings turn into parades to the multiplexes or just lounging in someone’s overstuffed sofa.
Last year the rains literally created havoc, forcing life to a standstill. Many people were relocated, so many of us were stranded on the road with knee deep water unable to reach anywhere. We had 2 days off from work; some days we somehow managed to reach office by the longest routes possible trying to avoid routes with submerged bridges and blocked roads. After all work cannot stop, right?
One of my friends was in Edinburgh (spelling?) for a year for studies. She said the weather is so bad, it rains all the time. I can’t imagine how it is. I would go crazy if it rains all the time. Too much rain makes me gloomy. Also there would be no desperate wait for the first rain, the lovely smell of parched earth when the first drops fall on it. There would be no novelty, no anticipation. I am so desperate for the rains to start.
Sitting in a café’ looking out and feeling the heat outside in spite of the air conditioning inside, I wonder when the rains will start. I also know that I will be sitting in the same café’ when it rains too much, wondering when it will stop.