Monday Musings 267: The many shades of Rains
I write this facing my balcony and gazing at the haze caused by heavy downpour that is so characteristic of Mumbai. The overcast skies have open up like they have some kind of mandate to accomplish. Rains arguably are the best season of all. Most of the reasons that make rains enchanting are the sentimental kind, a kind of mush that one associates with the matters of the heart. (What the heck, even cubiclewallahs had a past, didn’t they?)
Adults hate rains mostly, unless you are a farmer – and I suspect if any of the reader of this post has a job description that has farming even the footnotes. The same adults used to enjoy rains as kids. There is no better joy than poodle crushing, something that can safely be assumed as a precursor to candy crush. The jump from one poodle to the next, unmindful of the soiling clothes and wet shoes, was an unparalleled joy. It was breaking free from the rhythm of the mundane, a rebellion against the chastity of routine and cleanliness. Most kids developed mysterious naval ambitions during rains – the paper boats which would glide through the small trail through the neighbourhood. I bemoan my kids missing this simple joy – the price of vertical condominiums. May be they will find something else to miss when they grow up.
Getting drenched meant different things as a kid and in youth. Returning home with not a follicle dry meant welcomed by an overzealous mom to reprimand camouflaged with dramatised concern. It would usually be followed by special treatment of hot tea and snacks. Untimely spicy snacking was the best thing about rains as a kid. Is the space of enjoying getting drenched shrinking? Everyone seems to be too scared of the kids falling sick. I have long ago come to the conclusion that the instinct to protect from harm has done more damage to our loved ones than our carelessness – but that has got nothing to do with rains.
The youth associates with rains in a more romanticised ways. There is some or the other association with rains that makes a gaping hole in their heart. Rains have a melancholy about it – youth experiences this ache freely and openly. Adults are too dead and busy anyway. They are busy protecting their leather shoes.
I believe most other seasons have nothing to give. They are prisoners of their character. Summer and winter cannot help but be what they are – oppressive. Spring is yet to decide whether it is summer or winter may be a mutant between the two. Autumn by design is forlorn, like a dejected lover. They hardly have anything to offer. All that happens in these seasons is despite them, not because of them. Rains are different. They are temperamentally givers. Rains carry bounties and they open up their hearts without favour and discrimination. They are like grandparents – large hearted, easygoing and always in the mood to give. Rains create conditions for life to flourish.
PS – so what do middle aged Punjabi men do when it rains? Well they look for their drinking glasses. Come to think of it, they do that even in summers, winters, autumn, spring or any other season. Why make an exception!!