Once upon a time, there was a little boy who lived with his parents and two sisters. Don’t be misled by the ‘once upon a time’. This is not fairy tale, but a true story. He and his family were my neighbors a long time ago. This was their first time down south in God’s Own Country aka Kerala, having lived up until then in the northern state of Himachal Pradesh.
Many months went by, a year almost, or slightly more even.
One day, all ready for school, the boy and sisters stepped out of their home to find the surroundings blanketed in a light mist. Memory stirred. He happily ran around enjoying the surreal feel of a misty morning. But the spoilsport of a sun soon put an end to the small boy’s joy. With the arrival of the sun, the mist vanished as if it hadn’t existed at all.
The boy was disappointed and puzzled. This was not how he remembered it to be! Like children everywhere, he went to his mother for answers.
“Mummy!” He called out. “You remember how there’s a season when it looks all smoky outside, and cold? Brrr….”
“Not smoke, darling. Mist. Fog.” the mom corrected. “And yes, cold. What about it?”
“We wear sweaters in that season, and sleep inside razai… and we eat roasted peanuts, also get sweets made of sesame seeds from the market!” His excitement was palpable. “When will that season come, Mummy? Will it come soon?”
When the boy’s mother repeated this to me, she was laughing. She told me how she then had to tell him that that season would never come in Kerala, a tropical place. Unlike their home state of Himachal, Kerala is winter-free. The sun shines all year round here, well, almost. The rest of the time it is raining. Most people here have never owned a sweater in their lives or have ever felt the need to curl up under a razai.
I remembered this story today while returning home from grocery shopping with the L&M. I could see dark clouds in the sky, tantalizingly close. It has been so since the last week. Yet most every day, they leave without sparing us even a drop. It has been a cruel year so far.
On seeing them memories crowded my mind, of rain-filled days, the music of the rain pouring down continuously, the tick-tock of water drops falling from wet trees when the rain stopped briefly, people holding on to umbrellas and hurrying to their destinations, water gushing down roads and drains creating a music of their own, vehicle tires churning up the water in pot-hole filled roads, the moss on walls, the absolutely lush green look of the neighborhood, even the slimy snails that invade homes….
Filled with longing, I turned to the L&M and asked, much like the little boy in the story above, “When will that season come, when it rains non-stop? When it looks gray all day? When you’ll need to use the windscreen wipers while driving! There will be water-drops everywhere, and…. “
“What?!” he asked. “You are crazy. I think the heat has got to you!”
So, in case you find a woman wandering around in an agitated state of mind asking all and sundry, “When will that season come when it pours buckets?!” rest assured that it is harmless old me. And also know that as soon as monsoons reach here (right about now they are over Car Nicobar say the weather folks and will reach in the first week of June), I’ll go back to being normal, whatever that is. 😉
© Shail Mohan 2019