Saturday, May 6, 2017

Musings on Rain

I can hear the church-bells as I sit here, on ‘top of the world’. I don’t come here a lot, this magnificent balcony of Rush Rhees, punctuated with pillars which assert their majesty. The weather is perfect: too cold for shorts, yet too warm for a jacket. The grass has turned into happier shades of green as if to express gratitude to the clouds.
Rain isn’t typically associated with joy or pleasant weather here in the West. I have to say though, that after having lived here for the last three years, I am not surprised at all that rain is associated with gloom. Here in Rochester we see only around 60 sunsets a year. The winters are long and the sun shines only once in a blue moon, but when it does, students ditch the library to sit outside and soak in the sunshine. I myself have come to appreciate the sun a lot more since I have come here.

But where I grew up, rain is welcomed with nothing less than celebratory joy. After months of searing heat, the rain brings the much needed cool. It waters our crops, on which depends the livelihood of the countless people engaged in farming. Rain is also associated with romance, and is a typical backdrop of romantic scenes in TV soaps and movies.

For urban-dwellers like myself, the fun of rain is sitting inside and enjoying a cup of hot teai and ‘pakoras’ (a fried Indian snack), which, at any other time of the year, wouldn’t be as pleasant, given the heat. And of course, me being quirky, adventurous type, I also like to go out, get wet in the rain, and experience the pure delight of having those heavenly diadems pierce my skin. The traffic on the roads slows down. The sounds of the roaring engines and the honking combined with the pelting and the pitter-patter of the rain makes for an interesting medley, one which I have begun to enjoy. As I make my way in between the puddles, invariably, I do end up stepping into one and getting my ankles wet. My mother warned me about this. I didn’t care to listen. It’s okay. The pleasure of being out in the rain is so worth it, after all.

For me, rain still has the same effect as it did back at home. It’s an almost infallible source for creative inspiration. I had written this around 7 years ago, and it is as true as it was back then.

pitter patter, pitter-patter
the sound touches my heart
inspires me to continue my literary art
mighty and influential is the rain
I am wasted by the latter
Haunted and captivated
I stand here motionless and still
Watching them fall
These pretty pearls of nature
As they descend to the ground

It is also the perfect antidote for a bad day..
[Last stanza of a poem I wrote 6 monsoons ago]

It was a bad day, truth be told
Yet, now I feel rather sedated
With the window open, out I glance
And the breeze kisses my hair,
The uncanny aura of romance.


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