“Good days are here! Good days are here!” There was a mountain of excitement in my mother’s voice on a drab mid-June afternoon. Why’s she so thrilled, I wondered, a little upset that she had disturbed my elusive afternoon siesta. “Perhaps, it’s the election hangover,” I concluded. I was mistaken.
Gingerly, I got out of my bed and rushed down the flight of stairs after mother dear to our backyard. Nature’s spectacle was to unravel before our eyes. Dust swirling round and round, rising like a phoenix, grasping and clutching to everything it could hold: the pine tree, rose bushes, bamboo topiaries. Thunder followed. Eerie silence; it was almost as if we were witnessing something ghostly or unnatural.
The wind dropped suddenly and there was a muffled suspense in the air. Then, out of the vicious whirls of dust came the gloomy, black, echoing clouds, marching like Napoleons’ army. The creator’s ultimate magic show left us spellbound and captivated. I felt a lonely drop of water hit my face, followed by the lively pitter-patter.
I looked up and muttered a silent prayer to the rain god, who had delivered us finally from the devilish torture of a dreaded summer spell. Bang came the first, fresh pout of pre-monsoon showers, breaking the lifeless dullness of the scorching months.
The plants were dancing in pure ecstasy, expressing their sheer happiness and delight. The freshness of the first premonsoon rain brought tremendous relief to the sulking moods and rising angers. It washed away the accumulated stagnation and dirt, literally and metaphorically. The intoxicating fragrance of the wet earth was indeed liberating. The spell of rain lasted a good hour or so, cleansing both the sky and the earth. To add sparkle and shine, came the mighty sun and, of course, the vivacious rainbow.
I reckon, India is all about waiting eagerly for the monsoon to come and then waiting anxiously for the monsoon to go.
We might be country of “hypocrites” but that doesn’t take away the enchantment accompanying the rains. There’s something about this time of the year that even words aren’t enough to capture the essence and the beauty of. The sensual and risqué pleasures of getting wet in the rain or the joy of playing gully cricket or football when it pours are truly unparalleled.
Fragrant cardamom chai and crisp pakoras, anyone?