I was born and brought up in a city where it rains cats and dogs every monsoon. Where monsoon is probably bigger than monsoon itself as it rains sometimes even in winter. For several reasons that may sound absurd, I used to hate rain all of those years I lived in Calcutta. It always used to get flooded the moment it would start raining with all the filth of the drains overflowing all over the place. I have hardly visited Calcutta during monsoon in the last twelve years so i wonder how it would be now. But then, I was mad about cricket all throughout my school years and rain meant no cricket. We would do some exercises and sometimes play football, which i still do not enjoy much. I think I would have also hated to get wet going or coming back from school. My uniform used to stay exactly as it would be in the morning when I would enter the school and when I left with all the folds intact and the tie perfectly resting over my belt buckle. So I had my reasons for disliking rain till I shifted to Delhi.
Once in Delhi, I realised that rain or monsoon wasn’t particularly bad. Yes, it still flooded the streets of Delhi and probably caused more slush on the road due to its overly dusty landscape but it still felt somewhat different. I wasn’t playing cricket any more so I guess one big reason for not feeling too bad about rain was that. Also, I think I started observing life and nature better. But most importantly, it hardly rains in Delhi so there isn’t much to hate. Before it could get to a point of irritation it would disappear. In fact, now I wish for rain. It is the only relief between the past and the coming winter.
When I was in Calcutta, I had to wade through water unwillingly. Now I wouldn’t mind wetting my feet in a puddle unless I have a meeting to attend. In fact, I remember a few years back, in Calcutta, I was stuck in a traffic jam inside a car in crazy rain and I loved it. With my vision blurred due to the pounding rain on the car’s glasses, I suddenly felt more vaguely connected with nature.
This year, the monsoon in Delhi seems probably the best in the past twelve years. We have had a full week of rain now giving my wife and I this rare opportunity to do some odd jobs around town and then make an impromptu decision to have chai at a small shop by the road and then to go to Andhra Bhavan for lunch. All of this while it rained. To top it off we were travelling around in autos so the cool breeze, the rain drops and the occasional passing-car-splashing-rainwater made for a wonderful experience. Everything was so deep green that it almost seemed to make me feel like diving into them if it were possible, that is.
The sound of the raindrops falling on the ground is so soothing. With time I am realising that being in the city all my life has made me feel so lustful for nature that even the smallest of instigation makes me feel happier than I may be at that moment. The view of trees, flowers, mountains, snow, rain, sea, lakes and absolutely anything natural is simply uplifting. As for rain, I just realised that another reason to like rain now is probably the fact that my wife loves it.