Friday, June 26, 2009

Waiting for the monsoon

I am craving rain. And not just me, the entire subcontinent is craving it. The monsoons are already a fortnight late and it will still be another 2-3 days before the rains come to Dehradun.

It is difficult to explain this hunger for the rains to those who do not experience the monsoon. In India, it is very difficult to ignore it. But let me try to describe the symptoms.

To begin with, the newspapers deal with the rain on the front page- everyday. The rest of page one might change- a war today, pestilence tomorrow- but the careful plotting of how far the monsoon has advanced stays in place. The conversations at work and play revolve around the rain too. "When will the monsoon come?"  "When the rains come, I will go to Mussoorie." "I bought seeds. I will plant them once it rains." "when it rains, let's go home and make pakoras."

The land looks woebegone.It is asif the earth had a fever. Everything is hot to the touch.The earth is hot even deep inside the soil. The dogs who would normally burrow a foot or two to create a cool spot have given up and now lie panting in the grudging shade cast by a tree. Everything seems sulky and irritable. My skin is irritated, the dogs who would normally run up and greet me are petulant. The birds, poor things, skulk with their beaks agape. It is not only my imagination that the dressed-for-a-ball white-cheeked bulbul is looking disheveled; his Elvis pouf is now sadly bedraggled.

I can tell you all this. How can I tell you of the yearning for the rains? Of how I want the rains so bad I fantasize of the overcast skies of my childhood, the intense expectation of rain that pulls people out of offices and homes to stare at the sky, the first few drops, and then the downpour. The sudden coolness, the moisture, the smell. That feeling of coming home that leads to Indian women speak of 'olava' (moisture) when they crave some TLC. The feeling that at last, one can put down ones arms, that makes Olava such a suitable name for Maharashtra's lesbian rights organization.

The rains will come to Dehradun early next week. It is humid today. Is it a good sign? Will it rain this weekend? How I hope it will.

1 comment:

Saroj said...

I know the feeling and craving for rain, thunder,but Chicu this year every one is craving for monsoon