I love Monsoon. It is my favourite season. It is the season when the earth cools down. It is the season that brings life. You get to see the wonder of a seed growing into a sapling.
First rains for me are the rains in which I get to get drenched. In most years, I try and get wet in the very first rain of the season. But now, with the office on the 11th floor, I couldn’t get wet in the very first rains of the year. This time I had that opportunity on last Friday, 3rd June.
I reached home around 8 PM. The sky was overcast and it looked as if it was going to rain any moment. I changed into shorts and t-shirt. My sisters and aunt were visiting, so we were talking when the sky roared. Lightening flashed and it started raining cats and dogs. The water was coming down in sheets. The rains were so furious that soon water was flowing on the road and collecting everywhere.
Now Geeta, my wife, started getting hyper. Mayura, our daughter, had gone for her dance lessons and obviously didn’t carry an umbrella or a raincoat. She is terrified by thunders and lightening. Just then, it thundered very loudly and the lights in our home went out. There was more panic. I was promptly deputed to fetch Mayura home. I put my phone and a wallet in a Ziploc plastic bag, tucked the plastic bag in my pocket and started. When I came down the stairs, our compound had flooded. The water was calf deep. A few people, including a young couple had taken shelter under the parapets of our building. They were looking at me strangely. While they were trying to save themselves from the rain, I was venturing out into it with a small umbrella for me and a spare one for Mayura.
As I was walking through the small lanes of old Bandra, they had turned into rivers. Water was gushing down the lanes. It was also coming down from roofs of every house that lined the lanes. My tiny umbrella was absolutely useless against the combined strength of the rains and the streams coming down the canopies. Additionally, wind was trying to blow away my umbrella. I happily surrendered and closed it.
Soon, I met Mayura, who was also completely drenched by then, so she also didn’t need the umbrella. We happily walked home through the rains which had spent their fury and had turned into a drizzle. We reached our building. People were still waiting for the rains to stop completely. When Mayura saw the flooded compound, she wanted to do what we have been doing since she was a kid. She wanted to jump and splash water. So like a doting father, I complied and we jumped around. The young couple was giving me strange looks, but that didn’t bother me.
This reminded me of an essay competition I had participated in when I was in eighth grade. The subject for the essay was given on the spot. We were supposed to write an essay on “My idea of happiness”. I don’t remember the whole essay, but I still remember what I had written about the ultimate happy moment.
I am on the way home. There is a lot of wind. I am walking by the sea and the sea is boiling due to the monsoon winds. It starts raining. First just a drizzle and then it starts pouring. I don’t have an umbrella. I continue to walk through the pouring rains. I reach home, drenched and cold, shivering a little. Wash and dry myself, leaving my hair still moist. I change in crisp, ironed, white cotton clothes. Start playing the cassette of “Pyasa” on the cassette player. Someone gives me a plate of hot, steaming “Kanda Bhaji” and a huge mug of hot tea. I pick a book by P. L. Deshpande. And lie dow on my side, reading the book. The Bhaji and tea keeps coming, the music keeps playing and I am lost in the book. What more could you ask for.
A few things have changed now. I don’t have much hair any more to keep them moist . Neither do I have a cassette player. I listen to the music on a CD player now. Also, I now have my wife and children in each of my dreams. But the essential’s of my idea of happiness haven’t changed. Rains make me happy!