Spice of life | Enjoying the sky’s descent to earth
Rain is indeed Nature’s supreme gift. It redeems humanity from the horrors of heat and spreads cool and calm all around. No wonder monsoon is associated with love and romance, dance and drama, music and poetrypunjab Updated: Jul 13, 2017 21:53 IST
“It’s burning here. Extend your stay in America,” was the warning I received from friends this May. But I was homesick and I didn’t want to prolong my stay in the US even for a single day. So I ignored the naysayers and headed home to Yamunanagar in the peak of summer, motivated by the Urdu couplet: “Ho ke mayoos na aangan se ukhado paudhe/ dhoop barsi hai to baarish bhi yahin par hogi. (Don’t pull out plants from your courtyard in disappointment/ If sunshine has poured in; rain will also follow).” And soon the poetic words rang true. I was still under the sweet spell of the States when it started raining.
I don’t know how long it had been so scorching hot, but the downpour was welcomed as a balm, or rather as an ice pack for the singed skin. The rain supported by cool breeze brought the mercury down. The young and the old, children and teens were all agog, though the excitement which we used to display in the good old days was missing. On such occasions, we would create a commotion, dancing and playing in the rain. It was believed that rainwater cured prickly heat. So nobody minded getting wet. Otherwise too, walking in the rain and getting soaked to the skin had its own thrill.
Well, rain is indeed Nature’s supreme gift. It redeems humanity from the horrors of heat and spreads cool and calm all around. It gladdens and delights. No wonder monsoon is associated with love and romance, dance and drama, music and poetry.
In this season, the sky turns into a theatre. Action, thrill, suspense, drama, all are there. In the beginning, for instance, the sky is sunny and silent. Suddenly, it is overcast with clouds. And then starts the turmoil. Dark clouds running hither and thither manifest the conflict. Thunder and lightning add fury and fire. The downpour enacts the climax. All forces fight tooth and nail. And now the rain relents. All passions spent, calm prevails. The sun shines again with the rainbow superimposed.
On the ground, sitting by the window and watching the rainfall, seeing people getting drenched or huddling together under one umbrella, listening to the rhythmic pitter-patter of drops, smelling the scent of wet soil, enjoying the breeze, savouring sizzling snacks, and longing to be with one’s beloved, all this weaves romance in the air.
Monsoon, in fact, has a magic that makes everything mystic and majestic, greener and gorgeous, fabulous and fantastic. It washes not only all the nooks and crannies, it showers the spirit and sprinkles solace. As Shakespeare compares mercy to rain, we can well call the rain the divine mercy that “dropeth from heaven, upon the place beneath”.
Let us welcome monsoon, the holy harbinger of rich harvest and a promise of peace and prosperity. May we continue to rejoice and revel in rains and rainbows, and say with John Updike, “Rain is grace; rain is the sky descending to the earth; without rain, there would be no life.”
(The writer is a retired associate professor in Jagadhri)