Varsha Ki Asha
Contrary to what the title might suggest, this isn’t a discussion about bold adult themes in a B-grade Hindi film. In spite of its annual frequency, rain is a phenomena that repeatedly manages to evoke completely polarised feelings in me year after year. The Lord above has never believed in moderation when it comes to Delhi weather. Winters are cold enough to make the flabbiest of people feel like iced jello. Summers put up stiff competition to the middle eastern deserts, with the Rajasthani north-westerns winding their way into the most sealed of houses. These winds are appropriately called ‘loo’, for just how disgusting they are. Spring and Autumn are mere teasers of the splendour of nature and are all-too-soon usurped by one of the other two extremities.
While these two dictators are locked year-round in a battle for supremacy, a cloak-and-dagger revolution builds up and eventually throws itself into the strife, coming off as the victor. The titans are kept bay for a while, held off by an unrelenting legion.
The monsoons are here.
Bless the low pressure over the deserts of Rajasthan. The heat of the sands that was pushed into the same category as a lowly toilet suddenly becomes the harbinger of long awaited precipitation. A thick, grey coverlet blots out the sun and fills the hearts of millions with a variety of emotions. Lovers get another excuse to flail their romance, while beggars finally get their long awaited bath. Prayers ascending from the villages are answered. The crops get their dose, implicitly giving villagers their own. Pollution laden vegetation is suddenly green again and the muck of the cities is washed away for a fresh coat of grime to be reapplied in the coming months. Children, as well as adults who enjoy becoming children once in a while, happily hop in puddles while drops of water the size of crazy balls drench them from head to the pinky toe.
This is the effect this surreptitious inclusion to the weather system has on the population. The first few days of the downpour are euphoric, with the radio, TV and print media celebrating in unison with the people they address. I give it three consecutive days. Post-diluvian, the croons become curses, the puddle bobbling jacks duck for cover, trees fall, traffic gets disrupted and soils saturate, destroying the once arid crops. The deluge even dilutes flowering romance (for what is love but a complex chemical reaction?). Sweat pours down and does a better job of showering than the rain. Suddenly, wistful memories of sunshine resurface and people are seen glancing with drooping faces at the enveloping gloom. Finally, to add to the overhanging misery, out come the anthropods from the depths of hell. A whole squadron of leeches, ants and flying beasties with an inexorable relish for human blood silently squirm out of their long exile. The feast is on, and this time, we’re the meat.
The clouds exhaust their quota for the time being. The sky is a sickly blue again. The country stabilises. But human nature demands missing something only after it’s gone. So the silent wishes restart. The heavens comply. A drizzle. Hearts uplift. The way is clear for another go.
The sinusoid goes on this way. However, the fact remains that revolutionaries are emotional. The poor monsoon just can’t take it any more. It weakens under the pressure of mass upheavals. That’s the opportunity the plotting winter has been waiting for. It gives our protagonist here a kick in the bee-hind and with a mighty sweep of its icy cloak throws us all at its mercy. (I love winters by the way. But I love being dramatic just as much!)
I’m in the downswing right now, as I sit about scratching an enormous red patch one of these creepy crawlies has given me. A re-yearning for the cool, moisture laden breeze should be underway in a couple of hours now. Wait a second. Here it is.
~ Tushar Joneja [@tusharjoneja]
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