Three months ago I sat in the open air section of Candies, when the first drop fell on my arm I didn’t even bother looking up- a leaky AC in the building above, an over enthusiastically pronounced word from someone’s lips- it could be anything. Casually wiping it off my arm I continued the deeply engrossing conversation I was having with someone about something that was obviously deeply engrossing.
“You might want to move your laptop, it’s going to rain.”
It was the first time that day that I saw the sky. I lifted in my head and an extra large drop of water on my keypad splattered on my keyboard.
I have always loved the rains for the same reason that I love the early morning, because the streets are empty. As your feet pound the pavement for an early morning run or you slosh through the puddles to find a rickshaw, the world is devoid of the trappings of human existence. Suddenly you are an intruder, listening to nature and city as they greet one another, catching up like old friends who hate and love each other at the same time.
Many face book groups support the 3-year-old me, who used to run out into the garden to shovel handfuls of the wet, delicious smelling mud in my mouth only to picked up kicking and screaming, back into the house. I remember standing at the edge of the muddy sports field in school after a particularly rainy afternoon and being stunned into stillness by the aroma. Like the smell of petrol or a freshly washed shirt , it’s one of those strange smells that triggers your brain into lifting your nose and taking a deep breath.
The monsoons are the pause button to the city. When you wake up to work or school being cancelled, awake and alert and the whole day stretches before you, a world of things to do opening up in your home. When suddenly in the middle of your day, you have to stand under the ledge of a panwala and wait for the monsoon’s temper to subside before you’re back on your way. When cell phones get soaked and the bottom of your jeans tears into jagged patterns. When you arrive 20 minutes late for a meeting and your hair stuck to your head and a sheepish grin is excuse enough.
Monsoons are hot of khichdi bubbling in the kitchen, monsoons are the cover under which lovers share first kisses, monsoons are conversations with absolute strangers about the rain, and to me, monsoons are permission to sit holed up in your room by the window at night to watch nature do her laundry.