"Jhadi barkha ki,
Lari boondon ki,
Lari boondon ki toot ke yun aise barse
Ghata saawan ki... ghata saawan ki
aise chamke barse"
Of all the rain songs filmed in Hindi movies, this particular Indian pop song sung by classical singer Shubha Mudgal stands out. The lyrics in the song depict the beauty of the rains. I personally believe that rains renew an old casket of memories and take us to another world. In short, it helps us come alive with renewed vigour and passion. I've always grown up associating the rains with romance due to the climate.
Rains do not stop me from heading out to play basketball. Call it a connection with rain or an inexplicable desire to get messy, but I was always the first one out of the door the minute the raindrops were heard shattering on the windowpanes. And today, I'm sitting in my room and playing witness to the crazy lightning-thunder dance in the sky. I'm pulled back in time where the rains were an integral part of my life--the absolute freedom that they brought with them, the only reason to go to college was experience the cool breeze while standing at the door of the local trains, the perfect balance that tempers the summer heat with the winter numbness, the in-between that lets you think, connect and just be.
School and colleges in Bombay have always reopened at the start of the monsoons and, to me, the idea of rain is connected closely with newness--new classrooms, new teachers, new escapades with friends and the start of a brand new academic year. Being a die-hard romantic, I was obsessed with thinking of all the possible rain songs that promote romance and the moment the rains kicked in, the thought of being near the seaface to see the sun set!! Rains meant getting wet and savouring endless cups of hot tea for no reason as we saw the earth celebrating its birthday.
We used to purposely run through the puddles, get as messy as possible and land up at home, looking worse than street urchins. When I look at the rain now, all I can think of are scraped knees, loud laughter, toothy smiles and exasperated faces of my parents. Last year, I and my friends went to an Irani Cafe to have bun maska and chai and munching on corns and vadapavs as we walked back home. By the way, vadapavs and a hot cup of chai still remains my favourite monsoon grub and I can never have enough of it.
Suddenly, it seems like responsibilities have taken the place of spontaneity and impulsiveness in our lives and we think twice before doing anything crazy, even if it's something as tiny as stepping out in the rains. We have all turned into adult versions of Little Johnny--who is afraid of the rains and afraid to play.