Monday, 20 June 2011

pitter patter rain drops.....

'Pitter patter rain drops, I'm wet through, I hear thunder, oh! don't you..'

As I sing this popular nursery rhyme to my 2 yr old son in the night, I listen to the sounds of rain drumming on the concrete outside. It has always been a special treat to sit coccooned in a warm and dry bed and listen to the sounds of rain outside. (Ah...the simple pleasures of life!) This rain has been long awaited and brings huge respite from the soaring temperatures. It is like life giving nectar to the parched earth. Everything that was withered by the heat comes to life- grass, insects, humans...
                                                                The rainy spell takes me back to the rosy days when I was a newly wed with stars in my eyes ; there was a dream like quality to life in those days. My husband was posted to Shillong, which is a hill station and it gets a lot of rainfall. In the rainy season, it used to rain for days on end; umbrellas were a must when you went out even for a walk, or buying vegetables or something. And the puny umbrellas that we use in north indian monsoons would not work; we had to use these extra large size umbrellas if  we wanted to remain somewhat dry. In fact, umbrellas were an integral part of the local fashion. You could buy matching umbrellas (same patterns and colours) to go with your dress or shoes or handbag..!
                                         Due to so much moisture and humidity, growth of fungus on anything and everything was a climatic hazard. Therefore all your possessions had to be regularly checked and aired out. Washing and drying clothes was a nightmare. All the almirahs had bulbs fitted inside to keep the air inside warm and free of humidity.  During rains, if you went out for a walk you would sometimes find yourselves inside a cloud. If you happened to be in a building with a tin roof, the racket the rain made would be deafening.
                                                                       It was rather an irony that in a place with so much rainfall, there was a shortage of potable water, as there was no water collection system, and all the rain water would flow downhill into rivers and lakes. Therefore local people had their own water collection systems in the form of huge drums to collect the rainwater.
                        All houses there had fireplaces and in the winters, it used to get freezing cold after around 3 pm. So fires were lit in the fireplace to warm up the rooms. And after 3 pm, you couldnt do anything much except sit around the fire with friends and eat and drink and make merry. Though I stayed in Shillong only for 6 months, the friends I made in that place are people that are dearest to my heart even today. Shillong holds for me the fondest memories of my life...and aren't I lucky that every rainfall today reminds me of those fond memories........

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