Aporajita Jain reminisces about the monsoon in India….the emotion around those droplets that wipe the tears of millions in our country….the wait, the joy, the smell….the muck, the difficulties….all rolled in one…
Bangalore Year 2004:
“Abbey,@#$%,yeh koi bharat ki monsoon hain, jo aaj aayega kal aayega lagaaya huya hai tune…” *…bellowed my much-harassed colleague. …he had shifted to Bangalore and had been waiting patiently for a month now for his “saamaan”(goods) to arrive from Vapi,Gujarat to Bangalore!! I looked at him surprised! What an analogy, I thought!!
Mumbai ten years later:
“Mumbai is not like Bangalore….you’d better be prepared for the sweat n dehydrated feeling all the time….till the rains start”
“I think it’s a better idea if you shift after the rains ….”
“Should I courier you K C Paul umbrellas from here before you reach Mumbai…?”
“You see that mountain? It changes to green after the rains….”
Mumbai and Mumbaikars seemed to be WAITING for the “Rains” with abated breath…some dreading it, some selling it…some dreaming it…and yet some others selling dreams around it…! Having lived in Bangalore for nearly 12 years where it rained 8 months out of 12, I was truly amused…and later shocked…!! Soon I joined the bandwagon of the hazaar Mumbaikars looking at the sky every morning hoping the “Monsoon” would arrive “soon”… else I would “mourn soon” what with the vegetable prices going through the roof!
But…. there was that oh! so romantic side of it…. it was like waiting for the “bride-to-be” to arrive at the wedding…. mandap all ready… lights ready to glow, flowers waiting to fragrance and the camera lens focused … ready to capture the “moments”… like all brides, she stepped in …a little late ☺….and you bet she bedazzled us…she stepped in… shy…coy and graceful… her glittering diamonds and smooth pearls reflected in the smiles….and tears of her near and dear ones ….yes, she was a beauty to behold!
She seemed to transform whatever she touched that day! The “gulmohar” by the lake burst into a song of orange… the cranes and herons danced around on one leg, the little fish jumped out of the water in joy…the nala became a flowing river of Mumbai muck….and the streets burst into a million patterns as the umbrellas went up…! The radio tunes changed to “Rim jhim gire saawan…sulag sulag jaaye mann..”; “Barso re megha megha…” and “ek ladki bheegi bhaagi si…” ☺
That day, as she left blowing flying-kisses to the crowd, the “gulmohar” lay a carpet for “Her Gracious” to walk on…… tear-pearls rolled down the “Canna” leaves…the “champa” on which she left her diamonds looked magical glistening in the light… and her “near n dear ones” longed for her to visit her home again and yet again…soon….
*”Hey is this the monsoon of wedding processions.. that you keep saying….it might come today…it might come tomorrow…”
Authored By : Aporajita Jain
Picture By : Soumi Haldar