My earliest encounters with Rain have been in Chennai during the numerous cyclones which brought along torrential downpours, gentle drizzles and puddles of water to float paper boats. Those early encounters also saw quick and easy holidays declared by my school which used to make friends from other schools envious about the fact. Invariably the sun used to come out mockingly on such a holiday :) .. Needless to say as kids we were glad for this welcome break.... Then there were the rains that were saved for the Sports days.. Each year religiously the various classes would go through the march past drill for the Sports day, in the process missing as many as 2 hours of classes and soaking in the hot Chennai sun. All this effort would be of no use as a heavy shower on the day of the Sports day would cause it to be postponed. This did happen for a few consecutive years if my memory serves me remember right.... Rains also meant wondering whether you could wear sandals instead of the canvas shoes or blue skirts instead of whites and then convincing atleast one/two friend to do the same so your teacher couldnt single you out!
The cycle and scooty rides in the rain are also a few memories that I cherish. Ever tasted a fresh drop of water from the skies during drizzle with the tip of your tongue - its a different experience indeed :)
Recent memories have been of stronger rains, flooded roads, gusty winds, and delayed trains in Mumbai. A marvellous experience inspite of any of the negatives. The weather turns pleasant, the greenery contrasting the grey skies and the murky brown sands sooths the eyes, and travel becomes an adventure. One season of Mumbai rains can cure the grumpy in you. True your feet turn messy but nothing that a nice wash can't rinse away.
A few fond memories/lessons/realisations/habits
- You initially keep twisting in the train to avoid the water seeping from your neighbour's clothes and then it dawns on you that that being drenched your self it doesn't matter anymore
- Knowing when to duck at the sight of an approaching train in case you are standing near the door during one of the downpours is a very valuable lesson
- Keeping an extra-set of clothes at work, even a spare umbrella may be
- Realising that sometimes the rain god also likes to tease you as he showers his might especially when you are wearing something light coloured or have are already juggling with too many things such that carrying an open umbrella seems worthy of an Olympic medal. All this when you head to office or someplace important , and by the time you reach the destination he's given way to a mockingly bright sun making you feel why me ?
- Fights peak in the trains. Close the window now, switch off the fan, can't you remove your jacket before you sit/stand, Can't you hold your dripping wet umbrella close to your own self ... you name it ... you hear it :)
- Keeping a track of low tides and high tides.
- Mastering the art of estimating how bad/long the entire train ride would be based on water logging you see at a few stations
- Lastly getting new fancy looking sturdy umberella's and trying not to lose them :) ...
- Increase your vocabulary with the latin names of all the sundry things one could contract during the rains :P