Today, the sky is a thick duvet of grey clouds. Infinite, intersecting circles of vapor are shedding rain at every collision – drop after drop, consistently and continuously – drenching thorny bushes, barren trees and dried up blades of grass. Rain has come after many weeks in such a form and color – water has either settled on the pavements or is walking in thin rectangular puddles by the sides of the streets. A dull, archaic color is filled between the land and the sky – punctuated by bright traffic lamps and brake lights of sluggish vehicles; impatiently waiting on overflowing roadways to catch a dry spot. Today, the world seems to spin slower as a large bowl of water with a bowed head; splashing in its corners with protrusions of drowsy buildings blinking their eyes with a few, lit windows.
A simmering and slow rain such as this always reminds me of monsoon in India. Dull, premature days fused with evenings – it is hard to tell what time it is by looking outside – as if the cosmos is instructing you to relax and give up on your timetable. Despite its score of horrid humidity and damp surroundings, monsoon has always been my favorite season. It is a season of nature’s uninhibited explosion of prodigal surroundings everywhere – a spill of organic mess with no hesitation whatsoever – a time of reluctant but necessary leisure.
It is also the season to munch upon the seasonal fruits of java plums and custard apples – to savor their delicious flesh while sitting on my favorite red plastic chairs in the porch where the rainfall barely makes its mark but comes close as a thin, fragrant spray. It is a day after day ordeal of watching swelled up flowers – drenched and held in a darker, richer cradle of soil, which sends out its musky scent and opens its belly for excess water to rest for the dry times ahead and after. It is a process of removal and restoration – tying the seasons together with an elemental knot.
Monsoon is also the opportunity for rain coats to spring out from the protective smell of moth balls and plastic bags; for umbrellas to crack open a rainbow on the ground and for trousers to roll up and the uneasy feeling of letting the water rub against the skin. It is also the venue for hot pakoras to arrive with steamy cardamom chai and let the taste buds go hysterical and senses satiated with their ecstatic combination.
I have had many a memories of relishing the monsoon; of playing incessantly in the rain and applying a make up of shiny, watery stars in my drenched hair and on my face; of incessantly writing on my desk placed against a full size window – watching the splendor and havoc from the other side; enjoying the spicy snacks and sipping home-made coffee in the backyard while the rain feeds every living molecule between the earth and the sky.
I always connect to the falling drops as wholesome, individual circles and disappearing into the earth – becoming one. Rain reminds me of the most important lesson of life – to let go. It’s very nature is to shed away every burden, every turmoil inside out – a release of accumulated happiness or grief. It is a divine message in the bottle of this world – of survival; of life; of inter-connectedness, of the co-existence of darkness and light and of our most innate constituent of this universe and ourselves – water.
It is a reminder that everything in the end, changes to something else yet is always around.