The Great Kerala Rains


Take the globe. Rotate it around its 23.5 degree axis. Zoom into the Arabian sea. On its east coast, there is a tiny strip of land where diversities take hold. Weather determines the character of its people. That land is Kerala. Its monsoon season here. And I believe there is nothing more captivating in this place, than the very nature of its rainfall. This is when Kerala actually becomes more of a culture than a geography.

The rains as permeated as they may come, it's what every Keralite longs for in that year. To escape from the scorching heat, the rains are a blessing. For many reasons, rains reinforce a positive outlook. We may not have fancy snowflakes or slippery iced pavements. But the nature of rains has shaped Kerala's culture over the years. Almost every festival is in some way related to the time of the rainfall. Onam - India's 'local' festival, is mainly to celebrate the harvest season in itself.

I remember the days back as a child, a vacation from Muscat to Kerala meant a handful of 'Vitamin B12'! Watching the kids play football in their tiny shorts and without shirts, was a sight of joyful innocence. My grandfather used to sit by the side of the veranda of the house and smoke his 'charminar' cigarettes, waving an occasional 'hi' to the passersby. He enjoyed the smell of freedom when the rain drops touched down on the mud, he said. While I tried hard to smell the 'freedom', the only scent I got was the one coming from a cowshed somewhere. Probably my tiny olfactory senses were not tuned to mix philosophy and rationale. But as years passed by, I gradually turned to realise why rains bring out philosophy in people. Rains tickle multiple feelings inside you. It's a multi-faceted endowment of nature. 

Most times of the year when you have the sun smirking at your face and sweat the hell of your glands, the rains comes like a White Knight. The fun factor kicks in. Everything is evident from the moment the clouds starts shaking things up. People ironically become more friendly and more helpful. Unlike the summer, when everyone just wants to horn their way out of the streets and get home, now they don't mind spending a little more time on the roads. "Wet me out, release me from the shackles of frustration" - perhaps, that's what everyone would be thinking aloud. Every once in a while, some expensive European car will succumb to the water when the flooded rain flows inside its carbon fibre chassis and tampers with the engine. Yes, no matter who you are, where you come from or what you own, the rain creates a system of natural balance. The rich or poor all have to go through the overflowing roads, messing up their ironed clothes. When I look at the roadside, I don't notice the labourers in lungis, or men in suits or politicians in dhotis. I see a totally different classless sect of people, drenched in rain. Isn't this actually a hilarious form of nature's Socialism? Our linen-clad leaders have lot to learn form mother nature.

All the festivities and notions aside, one particular aspect of rains inspires me. The Romance. There is no other season which can actually bring this out in people. During every visit to my city, the rain draws me to Akkulam Lake. Today most of it is Akkulam Algae rather lake. But there was a time during my college days when I used to spent time alone by the lake. Mostly because I wanted to escape from my parents due to my smoking ki aadat. Unintentionally I fell in love with the beauty of the lake during monsoon. Sip a hot cup of tea and let me admit it, its poetic orgasm that brooms then. The birds flock together creating a natural pattern unknown to me. Tiny peppy fishes strides just perfectly below the surface of the water while confusing you with its position using principles of refraction. Hippies would take a dive in it and later end up being chased by the security. If you noticed carefully, at some corner, you could see couples on pedal boats, literally romancing.  Now its all gone. I am still hoping someday the government stops paying attention to erecting concrete jungles and start reviving what nature has already given us. Quite a few places on earth are blessed like ours. Let the algae float out and give way to the water beneath.

Speaking of merits of rainfall, the lightning needn't show any mercy. Though we are blessed with tropical beauty, our infrastructure is outdated! Switch off your electronic devices and get outside. Feel the breeze. Get drenched in romance.



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I am the kind of person who continually keeps changing. Some call it restless. But I call it evolving with time. I am an Engineer by profession, a Coldplay fan and a pure Socialist at heart. I believe that one should not stop dreaming and that dreams install hope in this world

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