Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Monsoon Memories

Dear Journal “I had scribbled in an immature hand, “Today had been so much fun. It really was wonderful,” and had simply left it at that. For a person who is reading this one and a half years later, it is quite an arduous task to sift through her memories to remember what had been so fun, and what had made her feel so wonderful back then. Sometimes, I despise my own journal entries because they do not tell me everything. They merely reflect my mood on some particular day, or record the irrelevancies of my life which are of no significance to me now. For some vague reason, I was perturbed. I went to sleep with a question prodding my mind, like a playful cat toying with its food. “What had happened that day? Why was that day so wonderful?”

In sleep, something intruded into my dreams. It was a tenuous wisp of a memory which answered the puzzling question. I saw it clearly in my brain:

I remembered that evening. The day was done for the most part, and we watched the people worm their way homewards, through the muddy roads, dressed to evade the rains. The rains had been especially torrential, and many had grown weary of them. But we didn’t mind, my cousin and I, we loved the monsoons. That evening, a mild rain started off again, and we watched fascinated, like children. Soon, there was power-cut, mystifying the environment. We couldn’t have waited for a better invitation. That day, we called the neighbors over, and we soaked to the bones, screaming with delight as we drenched. We laughed and sang as the thunder set up a tempo. Oh yes, I remembered now, writing to my journal in semi-darkness, scribbling badly because I couldn’t see in the faint light of the lamp. “Today had been so much fun. It really was wonderful,” Nothing seemed more obvious, and my experience seemed to require no further explanation.

This was followed by one memory after another.

It was another wasted day, and I was slightly grumpy. I had finished my homework, devoured all the available novels, and wrapped up my studies. Nothing had interested me, and I felt strangely detached. I slipped outside, into the backyard, and saw no stars. I sought comfort in staring up at the skies, seeing those smiling stars winking at me. But that day, the skies were an ominous grey, and they frustrated me with their solemnity. But there was a wind, so I settled down, enjoying it. And gradually, the winds got stronger, and a rain started off, washing away my frustration gracefully. I was not cold, but I closed my eyes, and found thrill in the sensation of rain drops landing on my arm. I knew no one would think I’m crazy to be wetting myself in the rain this way, simply because no one was watching. I hummed a nice melody as I swayed with the wind. Minutes later, my frustration felt unreal, and I returned to my room, smiling without knowing why.

It was the holidays. I was relaxing in my bed, reading a somewhat boring book called “The Haunted Island,” My concentration was slipping away, and my eyes were running down the sentences without understanding them. I heard a rumble outside, and I threw the window open, and waited. The rains lashed outside, and I enjoyed listening to this. Suddenly, the book became a favorite. I stayed up, reading it until it’s finished.

I woke up with the memories still clinging onto my eyelids and squinted. The Californian sun was blazing outside, intruding into my bedroom. I stared out of my window. It looked quite sunny, but I knew I would shiver if I stepped out. The world looked a bit too bright for my liking. The autumns here will be uncertain; they always play with my senses. The weather changes rapidly as it fancies, and is very inconsistent. I scolded my inquisitive brain for making me remember the monsoons. I was missing the rains again, and sometimes, I thought, it’s better if some questions are left unanswered. The next day, I was blessed with mild rains, in the middle of autumn! I would never have expected it, that too in California....It looked like someone had suddenly decided to change the weather for me. I'm enjoying it while it lasts, this brief spell of rain, revisiting my monsoon memories again and again.


praneshachar said...

great memories and monsoon is the backbone of the farmer these people will be looking for the rains desperately and if it doesnot they feel so frustrated and gloomy. majority of our farmers still depend on raingod to raise their crops. it is indeed a great day for them if it rains and they start sowing activity bittodu. them again wait for rains and look the growth of the plants and the yeild s=when yeild is ripe they pray for no rains as it may play spoil sport. then they harvest and it is great day if good crop yeild if not like due to heavy rains the crops have not grown and yeild is very less then gloom on their worried faces what do next how to repay the debt etc. etc., really a tuff time for them.
nicely carved out memories and filled with rich experience and joy of rain drops
enjoyed the write up very much keep posting nostalgic things and we all read and enjoy and go back to golden days

Deepti said...

modest lux,
u call urself an amateur????? i seriouslyfell u need a come-to-the-earth kick...
anyway, wonderful!!!
remember, tht day after visiting the temple, it rained and how it was??//
huh, memories, memories.

Anup said...

Rains! People are scared by its very scent these days; here in India. Towards the mid-western parts mostly and here in Bangalore too. Once in a while that is. Overflowing drains, traffic - can you ever enjoy the beauty in those millions of raindrops? You'd just wanna get the hell out of the jam you're in cursing at the radio jockey as they play the most annoying songs when you're stuck in rain made traffic snarls. *sigh* love the rains... but hate its aftermath from where I stand. Love the imagery in the post though.

Gardenia said...

A lovely read, Lakshmi. Makes me want to go and indulge in a spell of day-dreaming and reminiscence. What bliss it is to lie in bed and read a book. Thanks for sharing this.

bibliomaniac said...

Hi Lakshmi! This is the first time I've logged on to Blogger in a LONG while...just wanted to know how things are going with you..I don't find time to blog at all thanks to my Intermediate schedule. But I will start again soon, I hope, at least I'm planning to.

Lakshmi Bharadwaj said...

Mr. Pranesh: Yes, our farmers depend so much on the rains. I think the best description of the joy they experience when it rains is shown in the movie Lagaan. What say?
Deeps: Oh yes, Deeps. I remember that day vividly. Wasen't it so much fun? I hope i could go back in time!
Anup: Yup, life's crappy. That's how it is...helps to see things differently, does it not? I mean, once u ignore the cold, the honking, the pollution, rains do feel like heaven. Atleast to me, it does! Thanks for sharing ur views.
Gardenia: Thanks mam! Oh yes, reading a book when its raining is one of my fav pastimes.
Anushya: How are you? I heard u were really busy....you are trying for medicine? That's really great. I know, sometimes, the intermediate studies can be tough. But i hope you can squeeze in sometime for blogging someday! Will wait for that day, then! All the best for your studies, anushya! :-)

praneshachar said...

yes lakshmi i agree you can see the gloomy eyes looking at the sky and always a with a ray of hope and when cloud pass wait wait wait and finaly when rain drops come and touch the soil the joy the celebrations and the glittering face each one in a different way greatly depicted. you can know this only when you are in a place where people always look at rain god it is really depicted to perfection in Lagan

Karthik Narayan said...

nice post...

and btw thanks for visiting my umble blog :)

Lakshmi Bharadwaj said...

Mr. Karthik: Thanks! ;-)Ur welcome. And yes, i'll continue visiting your blog.