Saturday, July 9, 2011

An Indian summer - 6: Rain over me

I went through a string of insanely lame subtitles like rainman, rainmaker, rain rain please do come and so on before settling down on rain over me, a reference to the totally badass The Who song "Love reign o'er me". I was even nice enough to link you to it so you can enjoy it.

As you might have guessed (doesn't take much to make this guess, BTW) this post is all about rain in India and how awesome it is. For the sake of gratuitous plugging, let me link to an older post from last year where I waxed lyrical about how I love the rain.

Ok let's move on then. India is one of those places with a regular, well-defined monsoon season. Traditionally monsoon arrives around mid-June and lasts till late September. In the last few years, however, it has rarely followed that schedule. This year was no exception. I arrived here June 22 (Operation Barbarossa, anyone?) and was sorely disappointed  to find no trace of this bratty rain. While Mumbai and even other parts of Gujarat enjoyed healthy showers over the next 10 days, I waited and waited, desperately ready to settle for even a teeny trickle of rain.

He finally decided to show his face yesterday (I use the pronoun 'he' because rain is often referred to as megha raja lit. cloud king). It began like a [insert your favorite musician/musical group] concert: magnificent streaks of light racing across the dark, overcast sky followed by self-assured rumbling. Soon the light and sound show was complemented by the rhythmic pitter-patter of roundlets of rain gliding across window panes. I was visiting my elementary school teacher with a few friends, and we eagerly opened the main door to let the soothing sound effects in.

Of course there was the question of going back. You see, I hitched a ride on my friend's very capable moped and now we were left facing the prospect of driving about 3 miles in this formidable downpour. I fantasized about this moment many times over the last four years. When I still lived in India, I loved racing my bike across rain-drenched streets, splashing water all over the place by zipping through large puddles. Now I could do it again! The journey was very eventful. Midway through a really large puddle (the size of a modest koi pond), our trusted ride sputtered to a stop. Uh-oh. These scenes are all too common during these rainy spells: hapless riders pushing their vehicles through ankle or knee deep water. Our ride started almost immediately and none of us had to wade through the water. I guess it was a tiny tantrum. By the time I reached my home, my shirt weighed twice as much. My hair leaked water. My sandals were drenched. And I had one of the best nights in this vacation. I can go back to the US a content man.

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