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This year’s summer has been different. Instead of looking at the sky with longing for signs of rain, much like the proverbial vezhambal, we are left searching for the missing sun. It is only mid-May and we haven’t seen the sun for almost two weeks now. And no, the sickly pale fellow who peeps out diffidently from behind thick clouds for a few minutes before vanishing for good does not count. That is not the real summer sun, just an understudy with stage fright to boot.

It is true that summers have never been disastrously warm in the coastal region where I stay. When I settled down here two decades back, summers were tolerable. Two or sometimes three days of intense heat and humidity was all we had to suffer before a thunderstorm would cool down the countryside. That is Trivandrum for you, I have told others less fortunate.

Things though have changed in the past few years. Climate change has got to us too. Summers have been long, dry and dusty. The regular readers here should know. Every summer I have written at least one post lamenting the summer heat, the listless trees and the dust covered leaves on them. Many is the time I have compared myself to the vezhambal staring longingly at the sky for drops of rain to fall. That’s what our people believe the bird does. I am not so sure the vezhambal itself is aware of this. (Vezhambal by the way is the hornbill) .

Unlike the few previous years, February has been reasonably good. March not so much. it was a bit hot and humid, but not for long. Clouds started gathering, and rain fell intermittently. By April we were into having rain every other day, and soon every day, but only for short periods of time. I was thrilled. Just like old times, I thought gleefully, not really realizing where all this was going, for go somewhere it did. Come May, it was raining every day, and during the time it didn’t, the clouds ruled, covering the sky up and hiding the sun. The sun or rather its understudy, managed to break out now and then, in half-hearted efforts.

Since the last few days it has been pouring buckets, for hours on end throughout the day. The days are dark and gloomy. So dark that I woke up after an afternoon nap today, thought it was early morning and got ready to brush my teeth. The greenery looks absolutely stunning, all freshly washed. But there is moss, and also resourceful weeds, growing everywhere. Everywhere and everything is wet, wet, wet.

If this is how the last few days of summer look, how will we even know when the actual monsoon season starts, I wonder. How long should I now wait to see a bluer than blue sky, a glorious sunrise and a colorful sunset? Even as I write this, I can hear the rain falling relentlessly. Sigh. I never thought I’d be saying this (and it is a first for me!), I miss you, Sun, I long to see you. (Not you, the nincompoop of an understudy. I want the real deal) Besides, as an earthling from God’s Own Country I am concerned. Show us your face. Let’s know once and for all that all’s well with you. Omg, a thought just struck me. You aren’t miffed with us, are you?!! 😮

© Shail Mohan 2021