19th of April 2009 was not the first rain of the season nevertheless it has brought out a much needed relief in the hearts on the millions of Bangaloreans.
Over the evening the dark clouds had gathered but a strong wind was blowing, which made me feel that a heavy downpour was not happening. Of course I was wrong. It was sudden… it was impressive… it brought down the mercury… but most important of all was the fact that I enjoyed myself. I did not realize the transformation from 27 years to 7 years…the rains made me forget 20 years.
I am sure everyone enjoys the gradual approach as we get close to a heavy rainfall:
-the gathering of dark grey clouds overhead
-the wind with the smell of fresh wet soil from nearby lands
-the sudden chill and the freshness in the air
-the gradual rumbling in the clouds
And then after some moments, big uneven drops make it to the earth. Over the next few seconds the frequency of the rain drops keeps increasing at an exponential rate and before we know, its all set for a heavy heavy downpour. Moreover, within 15 minutes of this we’d have fresh streams of rainwater making it to lower ground.
I have always loved the rains, though I do not exactly know what pulls me to the rains –is it the smell in the soil? Is it the cool breeze after a hot day in the sun? Is it the feeling of being under a huge shower of cool water where ever you go? Is it the promise of garam garam chai and pakode at home while it’s raining outside? Or is it the long hours of being in bed under the rug and watching the rain water fall on the greenery around? As a kid I remember getting wet [deliberately] while coming home from school. There would not be a single puddle that I would have left untouched on my way. And if it happens that I am at home while its raining, my mom has been kind enough to allow me to join the neighbours’ kids and get drenched… Skating, skidding and doing all sorts of crazy stuff in the rains. Of course a warm water bath and good food followed.
As the years passed by some of my companions preferred to enjoy the rains from the confines of their offices or homes while I was still fully ballistic under the rains. I sometimes wonder –What keeps us away from enjoying the things that we used to enjoy as kids? Try to answer that and keep it for yourself.
Later as the years passed, I was allowed to have a bicycle for my movements within the city –school, sports and tuition and this gave me a much needed freedom. Be it coming back from school or on the ground we never shunned the rains. The long stretch from school through the Refinery and IPCL townships with water on the roads used to be paradise. We used to deliberately ride through the water and sprinkle it on others. We were wild, we were free and we loved the rains… I still do.
I also remember playing cricket in the rains. Try it once… the rains had brought in a newfound passion for the game in all of us.
Similarly when I got a scooter, when in college the rains again, as usual, never stopped me…and my companion. It was kind of risky, but I loved driving in the rains. Who would want to deny a long drive with no traffic just after it’s rained? The cool fresh air would pump in life back in us…
Then over the past 5 years I do not distinctly remember getting wet by choice except for once. I thought times have changed… I preferred enjoying it from the confines of my room. But is it any close to being in the rain? No, not at all.
Come 19th of April… I was out doing some house setup shopping when the Rain Gods thought of playing a prank…and I had my time. I loved the cool air on my face, the rain in my eyes, the chill in the air… while I drove my Pulsar. I drove through the waters, sprinkling water or sometimes dipping my feet in the cold water while I was crossing a new stream on the roads…
I was free… I was wild… and I was savouring the rains, when I stopped near a Sukh Sagar [restaurant]. I didn’t even think twice and ordered for a Masala Dosa and a garam chai.
I had thought that over the years, times had changed. But I was wrong.
I had thought that over the years, I had changed… again I was wrong. The fun I had when out in the rains brought in the same adrenalin as it did when I was 15 years old.
But probably what has changed was from “Rains, garam chai, pakode” to “Rains, garam chai, masala dosa”. But that’s kind of acceptable… so much so for a change in geography. Try it once… it went well with the cool breeze and the chill in the air, while I wait for another shower.