May 16th, 2006

wave

the rains...

It might be summer showers...it might be the pre-monsoon showers....but I do love the rain. The hot day wanes as the clouds come gathering in, grey and heavy with the promise of refreshing water... the air suddenly cools down, the breeze develops into a wind that drives the day's dust before it...recently, we looked out of our balcony to see a funnel of dust coming out of the mouth of the yet-to-be-completed underpass of the Jayadeva Circle flyover...quite a sight!

The heavy clouds begin roiling overhead; the quality of the light begins to change, giving that luminous golden glow that I am sure artists and photographers yearn to capture on canvas or camera.

Lightning begins to play; thunder follows; the gods are either fighting each other, or jostling playfully, up above.

The first drops patter down, the thirsty earth soaks them all up. More, larger drops follow, until the sprinkle is a downpour. All the dust will be washed out of the trees, the grass will sprout again, puddles will form...in fact, in Bangalore, floods will happen....

I spare a thought for the daily wage earners who are affected by the rain...if I was a corn-on-the-cob seller in Cubbon Park, I surely would not like the approach of the rain clouds. I think of those who have inadequate shelter...those who have to make their way home through piled-up, choc-a-bloc traffic and water-logged roads..and am profoundly thankful I am not of these.

For me, the rain is a source of joy. I love to walk, cycle, drive in the rain...even a little cup of chai tastes so much better at the local Darshini when it is sipped in the cool of a wet evening. If I am swimming at the time, it is even more enjoyable as the drops patter down on the pool and I push myself through water stippled by the rain.

I grew up in Bengal; Bengali literature deals extensively with the monsoon. Indians are not great sun-lovers; the sun is an enemy, robbing the earth of precious moisture; it is the rain-bearing clouds which bring back fertility and growth.

The subject of rains form a major part of other literature too...Sawan and Bhadon, the monsoon months, as an image for tears is such a common imagery in Hindi poetry. I love the song, "thenn merkku paruva kaattru Theni pakkam veeshum bothu chaaral....mutthu chaaral"; I love this poem by Longfellow..do they teach it in school now, as they used to do when I was a child?

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Earth's cycle of replenishment and the quenching of the earth's thirst...wonderful rain!
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    Singing Amrithavarshini to myself