Friday, June 30, 2023

Loving Rains


The rainy weather brings torrents of memories as the strong winds, a clap of thunder, and lightning bring the raindrops to soak the parched earth. The earliest memories of playing in the rain with abandon and floating paper boats in the puddle of water get refreshed. The streaking vehicles on the street would leave a trail of  by soiling the clothes and bodies with mud. Unless it was a school uniform we never cared, 

Like every weather rains have a special soothing effect after days of blistering heat, sweat, and perspiration. The markets are flooded with mangoes as the watermelons and rock melons make a hasty retreat. The sight of trees dripping with water droplets and the wet birds hiding in the corners quietly is fascinating. The aroma of hot fritters(pakoras) spiced with green chutney prepared from fresh mint and cardamom tea would even wake a dragon from its slumber. I recollect the days I was posted in Goa while serving in the Navy, Our house overlooked the sea and with the onset of monsoon, the sea would no longer remain tranquil. Sometimes the fishermen caught in the rain would sing songs while returning ashore. The treat of pakoras and tea would oft getrepeated while admiring the pitter-patter of the rains and hearing the songs of fishermen., as there were several rainy days at a stretch. Sometimes when I accompanied my wife and daughter on my scooter would get caught in the rain after purchases from the local market in Vasco-da-Gama, After reaching home the exercise to unpack the ration had to be done with a precision of a surgical operation to avoid making a mixture of lentils or a mix of different flours.

I also vividly recollect when I first saw the fury of monsoons when I landed in Cochin( Kochi now) at the Naval Academy. At night the lightning and thunder would strike with such ferocity that I would jump outof the bed.  In Delhi,  I had never seen such rains at a stretch, as I  witnessed  in Kerala. Most of mornings, the day would start going out for long jogs and PT in the drizzle and return totally drenched before the next event of the day!

One night when we were on a sailing camp at the academy, we cast our boat at Bolgatty Island ( now a five-star hotel) for the night. It was peltering cats and dogs and as I stepped near the shore my foot slipped on the  moss on a rock at midnight and I landed in the sea. Everything blacked out as I struggled to hoist myself up. Fortunately, there was a boat tethered alongside which I caught by the side of a buoy.

There are a galore of tales related to rains that I have witnessed and each story is equally fascinating making the rains one of my favorite times of the year

PS Images kind courtesy Google

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