Wednesday, July 8, 2009
Rainy Day Tales!
I wrote this piece on Rediff.com under a column "Rainy Day Romance Stories". When I read it after it was published, I thought this should be added to my blog too. So here it is with a few additions and some editing.
I just love the rains! I was born in the month of July in 1970 in the sleepy town of Karkala at the bottom of the Western Ghats near Mangalore. My grandfather used to chide me saying, "You are an incarnation of Lord Varuna. It was raining so much that we could see you only when you were 3 days old." I was born at my maternal home just two kilometers from my home, but the heavy rains prevented my family from seeing me for three days!
My love for the rains is next only to my love for life. All my childhood was spent enjoying the rains and the associated fun. Hot coffee with crispy jack fruit papads specially prepared for rainy days, spicy curries prepared from seasonal shelled mushrooms with boiled rice and the sensational idli-sambar prepared by my mother were some of the rainy season specials I miss badly now! Not because my mother can't prepare them today. But the rainy days have lost all the sheen. Literary greats like Shivarama Karanth, Kuvempu and Tejaswi too added to the ambiance of the monsoon days. My love for literature has always been intertwined with my love for the rains.
I enjoyed riding my bicycle in the rains! The smell of soil after the first downpour, the sound of the rain falling over the tiled roofs early in the morning and fishing in those tiny ponds that came alive during the monsoon seem so unreal today. Those were the days when one would never want to leave the bed in the morning due to the wonderful atmosphere. Playing Indoor Cricket in our neighbor's rice mill while it rained outside was another of those unforgettable memories.
When I moved to Bellary in 1988 to pursue my medical education, the rain song went out of my life. I tried my best to rush to my hometown during the rainy season, but that was not always possible. Now I have settled down in Kochi, once famous for rains and water logging during monsoon.
Most of the important incidents in my life were greeted by rains. It rained when I was born; rather I was born when it rained. It rained in Bellary the day I went there for my admission to Medical College. My wedding was in the month of September, and it rained. My daughter was born in November a year later and it rained on that day. When I managed to construct a home for my family in Kochi, it rained, rained and rained for three whole days during the housewarming. The joke then was, "This house really needed warming and even heating!"
When I met my girl, I told her my idea of romance was to walk in the rains sharing the umbrella with my free hand on her hip. We have enjoyed several of those romantic walks since then. This was especially beautiful when we lived all by ourselves at a small town called Ponkunnam soon after our wedding.
I still love the rains and would love to do all those wonderful things over and again. But unfortunately, the rain gods have become unkind to this part of our planet. So we have to make do with whatever we get.
I am extremely saddened when people say, "We hope it doesn't rain today, we have a movie program" or "We have conducted prayers so that it doesn't rain today during the wedding of our daughter". In the middle of the monsoon season, people are praying for no rains. What will happen to us? Where will we go for water?
The only mantra I chant in my life is this: "Kaale Varshatu Parjanya, Prathweem Sasya shalineem!" (Let the earth be green with timely rains!)
Come rain, shine or more rain; forever in love with life and rain!