Drops of Joy

Drops of Joy

Remember the time you stared slack-jawed at the metallic, blue sky that seemed to burn in the summer heat? And wondered when it would fill up with dense, grey, cottony clouds! 

Remember the time you stared slack-jawed at the metallic, blue sky that seemed to burn in the summer heat? And wondered when it would fill up with dense, grey, cottony clouds!

Remember the time your back prickled in the heat and you fantasised about cool sheets of rain falling from the heavens? Remember the first drop that fell on the scorched land and a wispy cloud of an aroma of a baked earth floated up to your unbelieving nose?

Yes, that aroma is upon us now. Monsoon is here. And it is already down to business. The south-west monsoon is spreading its wings across the State and the curtains are rising for a glorious chapter of weather for the next three months. The rain will cleanse the air, fill our rivers and rivulets. It will make the brown go green and put colours of flowers on the green. It is a time to rejoice for virtually everyone.

Rain means various things to various people. It is a magnificent cosmic drama for some, a necessary relief for others. It is a saviour as much for the farmer as it is for the water provider of a big city. It is a nightmare for some when it simply doesn’t stop pouring but, by and large, rain is a celebratory thing for all.

So how does one celebrate rain? Apart from listening to unending rain songs on the radio, downing hot pakoras and drowning in hot cups of tea that is?

If you are the kind who’d jump under a blanket at the first thunderclap, the kind who hates getting wet, even your feet in the puddle, just let it be. You have the conventional ways of beating monsoon blues anyway. But if you are someone who sees the sheer beauty of nature and its theatrics, plan for a road trip. A rain-chasing road trip that will take you through variegated terrain, through states and districts, through towns and villages, on highways and winding rural roads. Any fairly good car, a good plan, a week days off and some care with the essentials should take you on a trip of a lifetime.

Want a real taste of monsoon where it pours when it rains? Then choose a northern route. Want a gentle monsoon where showers are a pleasant escape from the regular heat, go south. Want to really meet the elements at their fiercest? Take the rain route, cover the places where rainfall figures beat ICC cricket trophy scores. But do ensure that you are properly backed up in terms of co-driving, water, food, medicines, maps, communication tools and, of course, money. Take risk but only till the stimulating border of danger, not beyond into foolishness.

Are you the more reflective, diligent kind? Someone whose creativity is always under compulsory leash? Ok, time to let go. Grab a camera and do a rain project. Capture rain in all its moments. The colours of the sky, the showers, and the mist. The drops that fall like silver bells and, if you are lucky, a spectacular show of lightning. Look around and see how the world is coping. The kids to school and the women to work, how they bustle and shuffle. The umbrella dances and the steam of hot chais by the roadside. Click because digital cameras can make a photographer out of anyone. Look at the world through the lens this monsoon. Who knows, you may even end up an award-winning photographer.

At the very least, plan a local celebration. Rain is precious, as the just passed summer has shown us unequivocally. Rain has to be relished. Do something unconventional. A corn on the cob on the lakefront, an ice cream on the beach or a chai by the roadside when you are stuck in a heavy downpour with no exit strategy. Turn the city blues to your advantage.

Then there are the house parties for those who prefer their rain outside, showcased by the window. Engage the kids in an indoor game or put them on to a challenging assignment such as a poetry-writing session or a painting contest. Give them sufficient leeway to beat boredom that is inevitable when they are confined.

For those whose bliss lies in domestic perfection, the monsoon is a good time for winding up long-pending chores. Finish that embroidery or get a family album going. Sort out the computer and organise the music. Find recipes, cook glorious splendid meals.

Read that long-pending book that did not move beyond the 32nd page or write letters/emails. Paint, clean, repair, mend, sort, create – anything that you can do at home. If nothing works for you? Then, of course, there is the best recourse ever. Snuggle into the blanket and snooze like a lazy cat.

It’s the time sky meets the earth. When water meets soil -- it’s time the seed meets its tomorrow and the dry meets the elixir of life. It’s when the cloud grins in lightning, chuckles loudly in thunder. The time when grey turns to silver to brown to green. Rain is here. In resplendent entirety. Celebrate it.

By: Usha Turaga

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