aarwen

When it rains…

My earlier post made Indi di write poetry. Reading which made me think about rain.

It might have been in my school years that I first fell in love with the rain. Heavy downpour early morning would mean kids got a reason to stay home, but I would go to school with double the enthusiasm. Walking through the uncharacteristically empty and dark corridors, I would hear the sound of my footsteps echo, intermingled with the sound of falling raindrops. It was easy to plead to the teacher to give us a free period as attendance was short. Then, spend the hour whispering with friends or staring out of the window daydreaming, if the teacher was strict and would insist on silence.

Rain also reminds me of the oppressive summer heat and the welcome relief of a thunderstorm. A gale and thunder rumbling. My grandmother would be worried that the green mangoes on the trees would all fall, while I sat on the steps allowing the gentle spray of water to cool my feet. Early evening the storm would be gone and so would the house electricity. A neighbor might drop in and there would be tea and pakoris. If there was a hailstorm, I would have my special snack of some ice hidden from my mother’s eyes. And the verdant young leaves would be fresh and clean. In fact everything around would suddenly gleam.

Did you know, it is said, if the first drop of rain falls on your cheek you get married to the one you love? Did you know it is rumored, when Tansen sang raag malhar the skies would burst open with torrential rain? Did you know if your hair is tied as it gets wet due to rain water, there is an old wives tale, you might get hair lice? Did you know rain water is the purest form of water?

While in college, all through monsoon nights my roommate and I would keep our hostel room door open. As Atif Aslam crooned ‘hum kis galli ja rahe hain’ from our laptop, we would watch the dark shadows of trees sway in the tempest. The wind would cause the metal door to creak and blow our hair. Flashes of lightening would streak across the black night sky, but unlike Hindi film heroines we were not afraid. We enjoyed the rain.

Rain reminds me of that gorgeous girl in my college. A girl four years my senior who had a transparent white lace umbrella. She would hang it to her purse and at the merest suggestion of a drizzle it would open. A white halo over the angelic beauty.

Much later, one rainy day, I was talking about the rain to a sensible person and he remarked, that the reason I like it is because I don’t have to shiver in the cold or be drenched in it. I don’t have to wade through it in my office clothes or be stuck in a traffic jam when I would rather be home. He was right. And since that day, when it rains, it reminds me to be thankful I have a home and am warm.

As years pass by I still watch the single drop fall off that green leaf. I follow the raindrops as they make their way across the car wind shield. When on a bus, I watch the passengers shake their wet overcoats then rub their hands together for warmth. The world around still feels washed and new. A new rich color splashes on the canvas, once the water has swallowed away all the suspended layers of dust.

I was walking down a road and the finest of shower started. Far from a deluge, hardly enough to be noticeable. I had my umbrella (not a pretty lace one though) and I had nowhere particular I had to be. For a minute I thought of ducking into the nearest inviting coffee shop. Luckily I had an even better idea.

I walked in the rain.

The gossamer droplets settling on me. I hummed a song. I even hazarded to jump into a puddle and giggle at the splash. I fell in love with the rain all over again.

It comes down to the present. Now. And how we live the moment. If you don’t like the rain, maybe you enjoy the heat or the snow or something altogether different. Don’t worry, just enjoy for a few minutes today. And tell me how you feel.

Leaving you with a rain song. It might not be the most melodious, the chaos in the video and the powerful vibrant voice of Shubha Mudgal energizes me always. A young student wants to got out and play with her friends. A young couple express their love. A husband and wife in a small little world of their own. A mother lets her daughter go free. And in the midst of it all a man runs around a hen. hahaha I am not completely crazy.. just watch the video to see.

 

Video credit to uploader.

AARWEN’S INDEX

 

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9 Comments

  • ladkikijhy@gmail.com'
    Reply
    Ladki Kijhy
    April 23, 2015 at 1:10 am

    Strange really, on my way to work, got some rain. The forecast is for severe thunderstorms, hail, tornadoes, the works for this evening. We (as in myself and a friend) are thinking of skipping a class we have in the evening and heading home early from work.
    I love the rain too. I hail from the land where the monsoon starts in our country. Its forever tied to the opening of the new school year. The smell of the soil after the first rain, an aunt, who’s scared of thunder and lightning, hiding behind a door, come to mind! We have a month called karkidakkam, where it would rain continuously. Remember how difficult it was to get up in the morning and go to school. Its considered an inauspicious month, I remember asking my dad as a child why it was so. And I remember he gave me a very logical answer to it and did not brush if off saying that’s how it is considered from a very long time!

    • Reply
      rhea sinha
      April 23, 2015 at 5:20 am

      hey kizh you love the rain too? we keep finding more and more in common amongst us blasters don’t we? lovely memories you shared thank you..
      aunt scared of lightning hello hi bye bye I am imagining. And I should have mentioned that smell of soil in my post as well..
      Your dad actually explained why? very nice. Have you read To Kill A Mocking Bird? The father is my favourite because he actually gave sensible grown up answers to his children’s questions. Beautiful book.
      Tornado warning? Go home early and we’ll meet up on the blast thread with jilebi and coffee, what say?
      Thanks for talking about the rain. I could go on and on.

  • DAWNK925@GMAIL.COM'
    Reply
    Dawn
    April 23, 2015 at 10:58 am

    Growing up in London , am not too fond of rain. I love the California weather. Now facing drought I wish we see some rain action. Irony is that me who wished the rain away now wants it back.
    Enough of my ramblings , Rhea a very well written piece .

    • Reply
      rhea sinha
      April 23, 2015 at 12:42 pm

      Only constant is change.. I think Barun Sobti quoted that in some interview.. a time when you didn’t want to rain and now you do.. haven’t visited london, but in my head I do picture it in greyscale with black umbrellas open… california is complete contrast for sure. You know I was wondering what would a person’t reaction be to this post, who does not like the rain. So specially thank you for reading and commenting Dawn.

  • Reply
    indrani robbins
    April 24, 2015 at 12:01 am

    lovely reverie about the rain. a happy fresh shower of memories, brightens things up. i love the rain too… growing up in assam, there was always that sense of drizzle, shower, torrent, lightning thunder. it rained practically round the year, but winter i think brought a second proper “rainy season” to that latitude/longitude. we always ran out of the house and danced about in the raindrops, then back home and into the tub for a warm bath. my father used to pour tiny thimble glasses of brandy for us, three of us… me the eldest at 6 or 7 and the fun of drinking that fiery stuff. some sort of protection against catching a cold. khichuri and pakoras and bhaja are of course brishti time khana. the green looks greener and something feels a little lawless and out of control… always loved that, still do. calcutta rain was a bit scary floody and grey but still it was fun. delhi rain was shorter sharper changing hot to cool. the smell of earth when it’s about to rain, possibly the most there and in jamshedpur. bombay rain had a grandeur, i remember being fascinated by the umbrellas one day as people filed past the bombay gym along a narrow walkway… looked like the umbrellas were out for a little flash dance. i still go out and get a little wet in the rain whenever i can… in fact just this october, jacob was driving along unfamiliar roads around london and it was dark when it started to rain. i was entranced, the shining road surface ahead, lights from cars reflected agaisnt the sheen… he however was in deep frown. when we got back i sighed and said, oh wasn’t that fun? he looked at me incredulously and said, no. in singapore it rains almost every day. short bursts, and sometimes, especially october to feb, heavy downpour. lots of thunder lightning and howling winds. the most poignant showers came down the other day as mr lee kwan yew left for his last journey to mandai crematorium… the whole city stood along the way, getting drenched, there to say goodbye… one last time. i was born in sawan, the month of baarish, maybe that’s why i have this thing for it. have you heard debabrata biswas singing megh bolechhe jabo jabo, or the melancholic and deep megher pore megh jomeche? so many varsha songs and the very notion of walking hand in hand with your lover as raindrops fall light or heavy, maybe you hum a tune and snuggle a little, maybe you kiss? hmmm. h what happened to that baarish sequence we waited for between you know who and you know who…
    a short while ago it rained like mad in bangalore… hail storm. power cuts everywhere. maybe i’ll try and find some monsoon somewhere this year… rhea, looks like i wrote a whole post here… thanks for your ramble, made me want to as well.

  • Reply
    rhea sinha
    April 24, 2015 at 12:42 pm

    memories are the heart of all witch brewery, don’t you think Indi di? haha our poor drivers handling the traffic while we dream of kisses in the rain. with all the different places you mentioned now I am thinking of Eliza Doolittle… the rain in spain.. you still get wet in the rain? way to go Indi di. enjoyed every bit of your comment cum post.
    now my mind is ticking on how to have collaborative posts… pilanning karike pari..

  • Reply
    indrani robbins
    April 24, 2015 at 2:21 pm

    driver? what driver? we are walking hand in hand in a drizzle turning into a downpour, but we don’t seem to care, the kissing keeps us busy. ha ha. pilan bitiya pilan.

  • ankita.mohanty7@gmail.com'
    Reply
    Ankita
    April 29, 2015 at 4:17 pm

    Beautiful description of rain. I too enjoy rain expect the times esp these days when downpours are almost associated with heavy immovable traffic on water logged streets in Kolkata. But in other times when I am free of duties and responsibilities I really enjoy the sound and smell the showers bring forth. I love “Abke sawan” by Shuba and am also reminded of another romantic bollywood song/video “Sawan barse” with Sonali Bendre 🙂

    • Reply
      rhea sinha
      April 30, 2015 at 2:20 pm

      I used to like that Sonali Bendre song too. haha stuck in traffic and irritated with the rain.. exactly what varun hates.. thanks.. its is so nice to get to share these random thoughts with you.

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