Rain : the Savior

Pitter patter pitter patter
Can you hear the sound of my heart go
Pitter patter pitter patter

Smile Henry’s poem reminds us of the rhythm of the rain. And how intricately every downpour touches and resonates in our heart. Even before actually the rain descends the skies, we feel a sense of excitement. The gathering of the clouds. The cool breeze. The truly pregnant atmosphere: waiting to burst forth. Exists there a soul who has not come under the charm of the beautiful, glorious rain? With a Whoosh and sometimes accompanied by thunder and lightning: the rain starts. Every time this drama makes me feel supremely alive, energized and happy.

Sometimes I wonder if being a Konkani at heart is what makes that special relationship with rains for me. But then, I realize it is not me alone. When the rain starts, it gathers all and sundry in it’s fold. Rains have that power. The majestic spectacle of the rain, the sheer poetry of the falling drops, the smell of the wet earth, the smiling of the trees : one can easily sense that Mother Earth herself is so very happy with rain. And is really preening to welcome this favorite guest.

This rainy season,  along with the first rains a sms hit my phone, which says it so beautifully:

“Saare itra ke daam  gir gaye  aaj market me

Baarish se bhigi mitti ki khushboo jo aayi”

{Translation: Prices of all perfumes fell in the market today: Since the rains wet the earth and that smell rules} And if by chance a rainbow appears in the sky… my, my it awakens the child in each and every one of us. We gaze with wonder at this amazing phenomena, this apparition in the sky and wonder if we can reach out and touch that rainbow. And who cares whether or not there is the proverbial pot at the end of the rainbow? The magic of the rainbow is treasure enough!!

I remember when we were kids every summer vacation we would be in Sawantwadi ( in Sindhudurg district, on the border of Goa and Maharashtra). And come June the rains would start. With more than 110 inches of rain,  their arrival was momentous. Life would get disrupted. Days on end there would be heavy or heavier rainfall. The sound of the battering rain on the clay tiles, which made the roof of our house, meant that wherever you were,  you were surrounded by the sound of rain. Once in a while,  one of the tiles would get hit by a falling fruit or the branch of a tree which could not survive the heavy onslaught. And with that impact a leak would develop and you had dripping rain inside the house. Buckets had to be kept to catch the rainwater and as children we loved going to empty the buckets,  only to have then filled very soon with the fury of the rain.  Sometimes it would rain continuously for 4/5 days. Buses which would ply people and goods were affected. Soon supply of all fresh vegetables would dry up in the vllage market. And we were reduced to having potato curry and lentils for days and days, every meal. That was the time we discovered the joy of sukka bangda and sukka bombil ( dehydrated,  dried fish) which our mothers preserved for just such a rainy day!!

It was such days that taught us the truth of Robert Frost’s words:

“The rain to the wind said,
You push and I’ll pelt.’
They so smote the garden bed
That the flowers actually knelt,
And lay lodged–though not dead.
I know how the flowers felt.”

Remember “not dead” as rain is life giving. Rain brings hope not only for the farmer but also to the modern day economist, who predicts how the economy will grow based on the normal monsoon. The weatherman and the Met department will make predictions: which the passing rain laughs at. People in towns and cities seem to be more bothered about how much disturbance the rain will cause in their lives. And they are happy to debate whether the cleaning of the storm drains will protect them from water logging. Village folks being closer to nature are more welcoming of the rain. But even their thoughts soon veer around to more mundane matters like when to sow, and when to replant. The ones who truly enjoy the rains are the children and lovers. This  lot is happy with interruptions to the routine. They have time to stand and stare. And get wet. Truly they welcome the rains. Literally with open arms. And more open hearts!

We were fortunate as children to have parents who took us to Lonavala in every rains. 50 years ago when it was not as fashionable, as it is now. We would pack a change of clothes for everyone, pile onto the back seat of the car and go and get wet. The taste of bhajjiyas and hot tea still lingers after 50 plus years. Charlie Chaplain has said ” I always like walking in the rain, so no one can see me crying” But really : can anyone cry in the rain? Rain is so uplifting of spirits and mood. Rains are so very full of the promise of life. Rains are so positive and fresh. So I have always wondered at the veracity of that quote: I dare you to ignore the drama and joy of the rains and try as much as you will, but you will not be able to cry ! Nikki Giovanni caught the right nuance when she said ” no two snowflakes are alike, and it is possible, if you stand tippy-toe, to walk between the raindrops.” Every time it rains, I try and play this game.  Some people just get wet, some others know getting drenched with friends is an adventure. Try it,  it is fun!!

So let the rain wash away the pains of yesterday. Tomorrow is yet another day. Rain rejuvenates. Rain promises new beginnings. Remember rain has the power to cut stones and chisel mountains. So what is a human heart in it’s wake?

I end by again quoting Smile Henry:

Like an eagle I soar above the stormy clouds
I awake in the morning with a refreshed intent to be warm and inviting
Content in the present, hopeful about the future, forgetting the past

Pitter patter pitter patter
Can you hear the sound of my heart go
Pitter patter pitter patter

Submit to the power of the rains : vikas

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