Tuesday, October 17, 2017
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Thursday, September 05, 2013

Caught in the Mumbai Monsoon

Monita Soni

By Monita Soni, MD

I was apprehensive as I boarded the plain for Mumbai because the famous Monsoon had hit the coast. Images of floods, stranded cars, vicious mosquitoes, over-loaded local trains, drenched huddled wet bodies and a strong BO loomed. But what a pleasant surprise! The Rain Gods were benevolent this time.  They let me experience gentle baby showers.

There were no merciless downpours. No dreary grey days but short spurts of mischievously delicious showers more like a young maiden's petulant tears pierced by cheery outbursts of sunshine like unexpected laughter. It was refreshing to drive down freshly washed avenues lined by happy trees clothed in glorious green foliage.

I was there for a week, completed all my chores. I went from home to office, to hospitals, to dentists, to opticians, to tailors and shopping malls but not even a splash on my new water repellant Clarks shoes. Just once on my walk to the temple, I was sprinkled by a gentle drizzle, like a holy anointing. 

The rain fell all the time but in small tasteful treats spaced out to cleanse the palate and quench Mother Earth. I sat on my mother's favorite window seat and reminisced about past monsoons when she would wait for me to come back from school. I would climb up the stairs; rain drenched, hair plastered to my scalp, feet shriveled like cold fish in my galoshes. I would long to peel off the wet clothes and jump into a hot shower. Then I would climb into fresh sheets with a hot cup of milk laced with saffron, unload my day on my mothers' patient ears and later I would curl up with an Agatha Christie or a PG Wodehouse. 

At times my wet friends would come home with me. They would towel dry and sit in the veranda adjusting their wind blown umbrellas waiting for the monsoon to let a little. Mom would whip up piping hot pakorasand cups of spice chai for us as we chattered in rhythmic competition with the raindrops.

This time as I sipped my tea, I watched rainy rivulets trickle through the dense green clouds of mango leaves and pause on glistening bushels of tender coconuts. The damp dark tree trunks with robust creepers had an organic compelling appeal. 

I drew out my ring finger and touched a raindrop on the railing and just reveled in the wetness, the magical freshness, the nurturing sweetness... of rain. At night, I fell asleep to the pattering lullaby of rain-feet on the tin parapet. L will never forget the gentle kiss of rain on the canvas of my soul.

Barso re megha megha Barso re megha megha Barso re megha barso…

-- Monita Soni

Recent post - A Walk to the Temple

Monita Soni, MD -- A pathologist in Huntsville, Alabama, diagnosing cancer in her day job. Reading and writing poetry is a passion that splashes her literally with a sparkling abundance. She is inspired by great twentieth century poets (Robert Frost, Keats, Browning and Tagore) and ancient Sufi poet like Hafiz, Rumi and Faiz. Her writing style weaves eastern and western cultures. You can hear her commentaries on WLRH Sundial Writer's corner.

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