Readers of this blog know that I am a pluviophile and love our monsoon season particularly. I have been very lucky in the month of May this year as we had the so called pre-monsoon showers regularly, unlike any other May that I have seen over the past thirty odd years that I have lived here.
June has not been an exception so far as we have been having rains every afternoon since the beginning of it this year. As I write this, it is pouring cats and dogs at 4.00 pm.
My son and I were discussing this phenomenon this morning as we were having our tea in our garden and I recollected a cartoon that our inimitable R K Laxman had created many decades ago. I had to go to Uncle Google and search but, I am glad that I succeeded.
I can’t get enough of that. Can you relate to it and your local weathermen?
Local news informed me that our local river Mula Mutha was in spate and so I decided to go and see it as I do every year during the monsoon.
I left my home for the first time in 161 days yesterday and thoroughly enjoyed the drive not only to the bridge over the river but also upto Yerwada, a suburb about three Kms away and back home. I was surprised to see just about 30% traffic than what I had got used to before the lockdown.
A still photograph and a short movie of the river taken from the bridge with the traffic noise as background for the latter.
After a dry spell of three days, the monsoon revived again this afternoon and I got up from my siesta to petrichor. Sitting in our verandah and watching the rain fall in our garden is one of my favourite pastimes and I indulged in it till the showers lasted.
Last year I was in better physical condition than I am now in and I was able to make short visits outside our home and I had gone to a reunion of ex colleagues at Lonavala during the rains. Till a few years earlier, every monsoon I used to go to Mahabaleshwar at least once during each monsoon but, all those are now distant memories.
I am at least mobile enough inside the home to be able to enjoy such a small pleasure that I am grateful enough to appreciate such small pleasures like petrichor and rain watching.
I am also very grateful that I am blessed with two young people in my life who pamper me. My pedicurist is closed due to the lockdown and since I cannot bend down to clip my own toe nails, my son Ranjan obliged. AND my daughter in love sneaked up from behind me and took this photograph to save the moment for posterity.
Yesterday was a holiday for Maharashtra, the state I live in for being Maharashtra Day. The downside to such holidays is that the following day, there are no newspapers and that upsets my daily routine of the mornings. So it was that I was sitting for longer than usual at my verandah this morning when some drops of water fell from the skies and I thought that it was pre monsoon showers, what in the West one would call April showers. On investigation I found that it was water falling from the terrace where the occupant was watering his plants on the terrace.
Those drops of water led me to reminisce about this song from the film Manzil which was released when our son Ranjan was all of eight years old in 1979. As perhaps some of my readers may remember, one of his nicknames was Rimjhim, meaning rain drop and so this song became a favourite for Urmeela and me. And, as it so often happens, a friend of mine posted this song on facebook too and that triggered this post.
This scene shows Mumbai’s monsoon which was part of our lives for so many years.
rimjhim gire saawan, sulag sulag jaaye man bheege aaj is mausam me, lagi kaisi ye agan
Spattering rain falling in monsoons Sets the embers ablaze in the heart In the wetness of the drizzling rains today What is this burning flame (inside)
pahle bhi yoon to barse thhe baadal pahle bhi yoon to bheega tha aanchal abke baras kyun sajan, sulag sulag jaaye man bheege aaj is mausam me, lagi kaisi ye agan
The clouds have rained, in the past too And have wet my clothes, even then But the rain of this season Sets the embers ablaze in the heart In the wetness of the drizzling rains today What is this burning flame (inside)
is baar saawan dahka hua hai is baar mausam bahka hua hai jaane pee ke chali kya pawan, sulag sulag jaaye man bheege aj is mausam me, lagi kaisi ye agan
The monsoon rains are sizzling hot this year And the season is so un-sober The winds are drunk with, I know not what Setting the embers ablaze in the heart In the wetness of the drizzling rains today What is this burning flame (inside)
There is another version of the same song sung by Kishore Kumar with slightly different lyrics but, this version with the monsoon scenes was the one that flashed before me in my nostalgia trip this morning.
I am actually surprised that Shackman has suggested this topic for our Friday 2 on 1 weekly blog posts when both of us write on the same topic. To my rough recollection, by now I must have written at least fifteen blog posts on my favourite time of the year in Pune where I live. It is our monsoon season. It is one of our three main seasons, the other two being Summer and winter. Monsoon starts from around mid June and lasts till early October.
The photograph shown above is of one of the many places around Pune during the monsoon when you can see such waterfalls.
The city itself looks like this often
Our little garden like this:
Everything looks clean and green and the rivers are in spate that makes it a sight to see and cherish.
During the end of the summer seaon, I start looking forward to the arrival of the monsoon season. I love to sit in our veranda and watch the rain fall in our garden. My son and daughter in love simply love to get out in the rain and get wet and Chutki loves to play in the puddles all around the neighbourhood when she is out on her walks.
I always regret the end of the monsoon season though it brings in our festive season.
There are two main rainy seasons in India called The Monsoons One is the current season in most parts of Western and Northern India called the South West Monsoon and the other later in the year operative in most of the Eastern parts of India, called the North Eastern Monsoon. Though both impact the other areas as well it is to lesser intensity than during their main season.
I live in the Western part of India and right now am enjoying the rains. The Indian month of Shravan or Savan is poetically inspiring from ancient times and the most often used symbolism is the Peacock dancing announcing the onset of rains. Most Indians believe that the dance is the harbinger of the monsoons but, science, the spoil sport, states that it is simply a coincidence that the mating season for them falls during the monsoon time. It is simply the mating ritual of the peacock to attract some peahens!
Ever since I can remember, the monsoon season has been my favourite every year. I am very fortunate that I live in Pune where it is at its best. I love to sit in our verandah and watch the rain fall in our little garden and also enjoy seeing people enjoying getting wet. My son Ranjan is one such and one never knows when he will get it in his head to come down in pouring rain into the garden to get wet and just commune with nature. I used to do that but, now I cannot risk slipping and falling down so I avoid it. One of the very few things that I miss not being able to do.
Another thing that I used to enjoy as a child accompanied by my siblings was making paper boats to float on puddles and runoff streams. I taught the same to my son when he was little and used to enjoy watching him chase the boat as it floated off. Another pastime that I cannot indulge in any more.
I do however enjoy one more thing associated with our monsoons. Eating hot corn cobs roasted on charcoal fire with masala added on to it. Unlike the old days when I used to go to the hand cart that sells this in our neigbourhood, I have to get it delivered at home. That is the only difference but, the taste brings back many memories, it does.
And finally and before I forget, I have a date with Ursula to dance with her in the rains on the streets of London before I pop off. She will not let me forget it and I have to make some effort to keep that date.
Today’s topic for the weekly 2 on 1 blog posts was suggested by me. Please do go over to the other participant Shackman’s blog to see what he has to say about the same topic.