June 18, 2005

Smooth brown, also wet

Right now, right here, the water's bucketing down and distant grumbling thunder warns me of more. As every year, I feel the familiar, warm tingle upwards from my toes. I breathe deep from that brown earth-smell, revel in the sudden cool, quake as the thunder suddenly booms overhead. Through it all, I thank someone again that I am here, now, for the first rains. Sure, by the time September rolls around I'll be sick of the rain, dirt, umbrellas that break, floods, that feeling that I'm constantly damp ... by July. By next week.

But right now, right here, there's nothing quite like that first storm of monsoon, and I'm watching it as I type. Last year we went strolling on the seafront in it, arms out, face up to the sky, smiling at the few others enjoying it like we were, wet in seconds like only the monsoon makes you wet ... pity the hordes across the globe who live without knowing it!

In his scrumptious Chasing The Monsoon, Alexander Frater writes of watching the monsoon break on Kovalam beach in Kerala. "Everyone shrieked and grabbed at each other," Frater says. In his case, that was the dark-eyed woman to his right, and Frater goes on:
    Her streaming pink sari left her smooth brown tummy bare. We held hands much more tightly than was necessary and, for a fleeting moment, I understood why Indians traditionally regard the monsoon as a period of torrid sexuality.

Then, as the deluge really begins, she is gone.

A momentary romance, that quick magic, the wisp of a mystery, the deluge of life-giving water -- this is the stuff of the monsoon. Ask me only weeks hence, I'll be cursing it. But for the time being, it's an entirely different emotion I feel. I felt it on the seashore last year, I feel it as I type this.

And now, what must I do with this rising urge to get wet?


Anonymous said...

aye maamu. shower mein jaake khade rehna ka. All year round.

Anonymous said...

Well-written post. I could feel something inside me...don't know what it was though.