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Rain, rain, come again

Memories of a rainy day:

AnticipationGrowing up in the lovely hill station of Shillong, I remember the rains. It would go on for days. And days.

With no respite. But being in the hills, we had an advantage in that there would never be any flooding. Our house, situated on the Lachumiere hilltop had a lovely view of a part of the town. The whole house had large French windows that rattled and shook as the rains hit the panes violently; sometimes so hard, that I feared we would have no windows left at the end of the downpour. They survived though.

We would don large gumboots, raincoats and go sloshing through the rains loving every moment of it. It’s strange that as adults we do everything to avoid getting wet, but when we’re young we dance around enjoying it to the fullest.

I love the rains. In Guwahati, when the first rains first hit, we’d make it a practice (along with our neighbours at that time) to have an impromptu rain dance. We lived on the first floor of a lovely house, with a driveway and a huge lawn. My sister, our neighbours (a brother and sister) and I would prance around showing off some of our newly acquired Hindi movie moves (all thanks to television), much to the annoyance of my mother who couldn’t figure out what joy we got out of these sessions.

Waiting for the rains:

This year, however, mom tells me over the phone the rains have not come as yet to the North East. The temperatures have gone up and there seems to be no respite from the heat. Every year, floods in the Brahmaputra are a given. This year, though, they’re facing drought like conditions in parts of a state, a condition unknown since the last recorded instance in 1896.

Today, I read in the papers about Meghalaya and Assam both facing a severe crisis.

In Cherrapunjee (no longer the wettest place, but still extremely wet) women are walking long distances to fetch water. The region is losing its green cover and top soil. At the beginning of the monsoons, five districts of Assam had flood waters rolling by, but since then there has been no rain. The government has termed the situation ‘drought’ like and is apparently waiting for the monsoon season to be over to make a formal declaration. The Kaziranga National Park, home to 1850 endangered rhinos, has been affected greatly by this lack of rainfall. The North East, already reeling under enough problems, has another big obstacle it seems on its hands.

And down south:

Brigade RoadIn Bangalore, at least, we haven’t seen much rains as yet. There have been those drizzles and surprise showers, but the rains have yet to hit the city hard. Though, I do pray that it’s not a repeat of what happened last year when half of Bangalore was submerged.

In the meanwhile, those light showers which immediately cool down the city are more than welcome. Walking around on MG Road the other day with Sabir and Venkatesh, we got caught in a sudden shower. We took shelter under Nilgiri’s roof and then a juice shop and watched the rains for a long time.

Songs for a rainy day:

Rains also conjures up images. Like that famous umbrella scene with Raj Kapoor and Nargis in Shri 420. Who can ever forget?

Arc of light
Pyaar hua, ikraar hua hai
Pyaar se phir kyoon darrta hai dil
Kehta hai dil rasta mushkil
Maaloom nahin hai kahan manzil

And my other favourite rain song is from the movie Manzil with Amitabh and Mousumi Chatterjee.

Rim jhim gire saavan, sulag sulag jaae man
Bhiige aaj is mausam Mein, lagii kaisii ye agan

Associations:

– Cosy whispered conversations
– Hot soup
– Watching the rain falling from my balcony as I sip Earl Grey tea
– Cuddling up with the cat and a nice book
– Hot onion and aloo pakodas (mummy!!)
– Knitting (pity I don’t anymore)
– Crossword puzzles and board games

And lastly, the quote that drives me crazy:
Mom and dad to me: “You need to save for a rainy day”!

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10 Comments

  1. hi something i noted in your blog is whenever you write about some incident you used to match it with the same kind of past life and that makes your post a little clear and clever. like brian weiss share about his patients in his books.

  2. Hey Anita,

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  3. I have stayed in Shillong for 16 years . Rainy places in the west like Seattle are supposed to make people gloomy or so I have heard, but Shillong is an amazing place. Thanks for rekindling old good times on a friday evening meant to be spent in traffic.

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