During the monsoon, life parades itself in a half-forlorn, half-joyous emotion. Through the busy city lanes everyone will now rush to their offices early in the mornings and scurry back home in the evenings. Traveling back to their homes, any discomfort from the day gone by will evaporate in the first smells of wet soil.
An intrinsically strong love affair with the rainy season ensues everywhere we look. Despite water-logging of the streets, partial flooding of homes, the unwelcome presence of smudges and spores, the mustiness that sets in and is difficult to shake off, the leeches and ants, the unshakable struggle with pretty umbrellas turning turtle on us. Despite everything, we cannot help but smile.
Little children gather around the puddles in circles, wearing t-shirts as colorful as the rainbow, jumping into the dirt, their faces light up in pure bliss, hearts as clean as their clothes are grubby. Their carefree souls embrace every change. Paper boats made from torn magazines sail through the streets, drifting as far away from the future and the reality.
You never know the essence of a genuine friendship unless you’ve experienced a downpour together, from a long walk in the rain to running to take shelter, followed by the hasty decisions, hot food by your side, stories of embarrassing nights and memories from your childhood breathe again, sharing, we create new ones.
Students rush out of one block and run into another just in time to attend their lectures, some cribbing about their disheveled state as their glasses surrender to the rain. Tantrums over ruined Nikes and frizzy hair drown as the symphony of the rain echoes.
High school sweethearts turn to go on long drives, every drizzle magnetizes romance, and passion ignites while “Saavariya” plays in the background and the warm temperature inside creates a haven, away from the slippery roads and cold drenching rain. The single folks wrap themselves in fuzzy blankets, a cup of hot cocoa and their favorite shows, binge watching comes to life.
On the other hand, sitting near the window, is a lover with a broken heart, his every tear in sync with the rain drops racing down the window pane. The rain is a ballad to his sorrow, and it speaks to him in a language that only he can understand – a therapeutic song that translates to a flashback reel of every memory and every moment, slowly but steadily, the rain heals us with time.
The farmer’s boy patiently awaits the first sign of a good monsoon, their family sitting around a fire, praying in unison for crops of gold and a good harvest. To them, it’s heavenly and the only blessing they crave for.
For families sharing their first rain, a bond enfolds, as love as pure as the rain sparks. Rain transcends all inhibitions. It helps a dad connect with his son, helps them overcome the traditions and nature of their relationship outlined by people before them. Rains make them vulnerable and this bridges their emotional connect. Being vulnerable isn’t a bad thing when it allows us to better ourselves as a person.
It’s been years now, the deep talks ensue, the rain demands it, you look back, you remember your vows, you remember your first date, and yes it was raining that day too. You realize how grateful you are. This feeling that you can’t comprehend overwhelms you.
Fingers intertwined, your greatest prize – the ultimate partner in crime, besides you, memory shaky with every dawn, somehow the rain doesn’t fail you, it seems familiar – almost like a tape on rewind – the story of your journey is now on play and suddenly, you’re back, you’re home.
Monsoon is the perfect season to be still, find a place and just quietly watch the downpour. Cool soothing air takes flight through grey skies, a lazy and comforting breeze sets the aura for a relaxed evening at the verandah with a good book – maybe a mystery case yet to be solved or a romantic classic, chai in hand and pakoras alongside. The scene of a heavy downpour gives a sense of serenity and peace I have not been able to find anywhere else.
Connect with yourself, confess your game of hide and seek, be true to who you are and not who people wish for you to be. Curtains drawn, umbrella up and still the rains manage to reflect your true face, there’s no lying, there’s no running, you share your concealed truth with the rain.
There are so many stages of life, different people from unexplored places, a palette filled with opportunities waiting to be exploited, unexpressed feelings and unspoken words. Monsoon is that time of the year when even the climate desires to express. It binds us all in its arms of peace, the rain keeps us company – a friend that listens, the calmness makes us feel like we belong and the stampede for survival is halted. The first showers have almost begun. This evening I saw lines of translucent beads drawing waves in the air and a film of water on the ground. It’s time – take a leap of faith, live but don’t hold your breath anymore, let your tale be poetry and the rain be your muse.
Sharlene and Gunjan