I love plants because they listen to me patiently. Always empathic and never complaining.I love rain because it always talk to me and is like my soul.Rain has been one of my all time friend. When I am moody I can hear its soft whisper and soothing words. When I am happy I can hear its titter tatter.
These are my favorite lines from the beautiful poem Rathrimazha by Sugathakumari. The night rain. The dark silhouette of trees, dripping leaves, cold night breeze, sound of crickets, cry of frogs ;everything is so much intertwined with the night rain it is impossible to separate them.
While I am writing this it is raining heavily outside . It is only afternoon here and it is already dark. There is thunder striking and I can hear the rain drops hitting my window pane. It is very stormy and the coconut trees and mango trees around our house are swaying violently. My kids are in full gear ready to go out once the rain slows down.
Every individual who has been brought up in kerala will have their own memories of monsoon. But I am sure it would be inseparable from the school reopening.We are lucky to have a long and continuous Monsoon.Monsoon also has a predecessor – edavappathi ( as it starts in the mid of Malayalam month Edavam) Edavappathi always start with thunder and lightening. It remind us it is time for the school to reopen. The smell of rain kissed earth is something that is etched to my mind forever along with the coziness of childhood . The time when I was small enough to cuddle into my father’s arms.
When I think of those days the first thing that comes to my mind is my wrinkled feet, ghostly white from walking in the puddles. That horrible feel you get when you walk in water with wet dress and chappal for a long long time.
I and sister used to hide extra snack towels in our school bag just to dry ourselves nicely after running in the rain.Coming back home we used to select the way which will have the biggest flood . Thinking of it now brings goose bumps. How ignorant kids can be ! The road would be crowded with people busy fishing. And we would have our own small bottle with fish. However most of them eventually turned out to be tadpoles. 😀 😀 😀 The metamorphosis always surprised me though 😛
What I love most on a rainy day is to tuck myself under a blanket and simply watch the rain. I always managed to find a cozy place near the window and wanted to discover the point from where rain starts. I would sit there for hours , just like I have waited the whole afternoon to see the 4’o clock flowers open. You would never see when and where 😛
I get hilarious when I see the water rising. But now water logging has become a major menace in Kochi . Even then the beauty and depth of water never fails to allure me. ( May be people here will hit me if I say that loud 😛 )
Mostly we would be busy with schools during the monsoon and I have got only one or two chances to go to the countryside during heavy rain. It is somehow associated with the burning smell of cashew nut shells and smoke. Children who have saved the cashew nuts for rainy season put it along with the fire.All the fields where we played in the summer would be flooded. And all different kind of water plants would be floating in the fields instead of the dried leaves. I have even tried to bring some of them back home.The pond which is my all-time favorite almost reached our threshold as though it has come to welcome me. Not to say about the small fishes that came along. Every thing was so full , so supple and so complete.
One other thing about rainy season that has always fascinated me is “ njaattuvela” ( Njaaru – paddy seedling, Vela- playful deed). It is a beautiful phenomenon when we get both rain and sunshine one after another. This will go on repeatedly for days. Earlier when agriculture was the common occupation this was celebrated as a festival. I remember My father telling me how they used to plant the seedlings during sunshine . They would wait outside the field when it rained and all the seedlings got watered by itself. ( eh, he has this habit of making a fool of me with all these silly ideas . I will always fall for it you know 😀 ) Yet , what beautiful ways does nature have! We believe even if we plant a finger during ‘ njattuvela’ it will also grow roots and sprouts. Such is the power of nature.
The beauty of ‘Kuttanadu’ during the rainy season have always entranced me. It is not my native place. But whenever I want to think of something calm and beautiful this place always comes to my mind. This is one area which lies under the sea level. It is a beautiful place in summer too . It is surrounded by water bodies and during rainy season every thing is almost under water. People can only travel in boats. (I am saying only about the stretch of highway that passes through this place.)
Celebrating “Ramayana Month” or Karkidakam is another beautiful thing about monsoon. All those days which we spent reading this beautiful great epic. The rainy season illustrated in Ramayana when Rama and Lakshmana wait for the rain to subside gives an excellent picture of the monsoon of Kerala.
Then comes my marriage. In the midst of monsoon. So now monsoon always brings along with it the sweetness and wonder of the ‘first touch’. My son. He is a gift of monsoon.
We decided to celebrate this monsoon with steamed groundnuts, bajji (one of my son’s new found favorites and my all time favorite), Bhel puris, hot black coffee with ghee droppings and most of all hot ‘kanji’( rice soup), red coconut chutney and scrambled egg with coconut scrapings. And believe me it is superb.
Here it has been raining continuously for almost ten days and I had begun think there is no life beyond this rain. I could not even imagine there will be sunshine while it was pouring . To tell the truth , I could not even imagine of earth , shining in the sun , ever ! But Today the sun is out there shining hot. The bright beautiful sun that always follows heavy rain. I saw a group of butterflies, some bulbuls and a woodpecker in my garden. Where were all of them when it was raining? What did they do? I wonder!
When I think of rain every thing that comes to mind is so green, calm, wet and dripping, just like a beautiful girl who has just come out of a river after a dip. Rain has such a cooling effect on every one. It refreshes your soul.
I don’t know what my kids think about rainy season . But they also want to jump in puddles and play in the water with paper boats just like we did when we were kids. And you know what, even though I try to dissuade them often , in my heart I am happy that the modern life has not made them mechanical and they are able to relate to nature. I am happy that they will also grow as individuals who love the sound and smell of Mother Nature.