Since a couple of days there have been gray skies and drizzles around. Nothing huge and t-storms kind, just the whole prospect of rain showers and the anticipation of it. Of course it’s never going to rain like in the tropics. My children stare at me like am crazy when I talk about getting drenched in the rain.
‘Why’d anyone want to do that?’ they ask bewildered. It ranks as one of those experiences that unless felt is hard to explain. Perhaps even close to feeling hunger or even love. That doesn’t necessarily mean that I was allowed to frolic and stand outside in the rain getting soaked like they show in movies.
Madras is where I grew up. It gets flooded very easily, and I have no idea why. It’s always been that way. The rain lashes on for days together forcing us to huddle in, shut windows and dry our laundry on couches, beds, banisters, and anything that can hold a piece of cloth. The more days it rains, more clothes accumulate, and the house get engulfed in this heavy damp smell that irritates you after a point. Then the wildlife would be on the move. Tons of croaking frogs in the sudden ponds around home, water snakes venturing onto patios, millipedes and centipedes making a slow procession along the cracks, and then the snails, dragging their slimy goo looking for shelter, like their own home on their backs wasn’t good enough!
Books would get their edges damp if you didn’t hold and zip your bag up close to you. Or if the idiot next to you on the bus didn’t let you pull the bag away from the windows. The shoes. O lord the shoes. The white canvas shoes that we had to wear for school would get thoroughly wet, and we’d have to wear those again next day, still damp, feeling the chill running through your feet into your head making you drowsy and dull in the head. No hairdryers to blow hot air into or vents to place them on, so they’d get warm and toasty when you slip them on before you brave the cold, like I do sometimes for my kids here when it gets bitter cold.
Then there was the walk from the bus stop to home passing by stores with romeos of all kinds whiling time. A good 10 minutes walking in a white uniformed skirt hugging onto the bag in front for obvious reasons. Coming home to dry yourself and drink something warm. Getting to the homework ahead of time as who know how long the power would last. Then if the power did go, dinner would be had around candles in silence and try and get some sleep through the buzzing mosquitoes swarming all around you.
I miss those only fleetingly. They are good as memories. Some of them I’d like for my children to have I guess.
So in this nostalgic mood I turned back to what most do. Songs and music. Recollecting all rain songs that were remarkable for the mood they left you in. Not the creepy cheap ones. Am talking good stuff here. Sensual, funny, charming and romantic, with some classic, soothing music and poetry to boot. Rain songs have always been a default in Bollywood, and in South Indian movies. Some you cringe with embarrassment for the girl being exploited, and some you admire for the elegance to make a commonplace body as a work of art. They’ve also created cutesy romantic scenes, sexually charged ones, and then the ones with an army of kids following the main guys.
The beauty of the moment captured in all its glory, where there’s a cohesiveness between all elements, rendering it incapable to point to what it is that has touched your heart.
I list below the few ones that I can remember and hum now, from the languages am familiar with, and are my favorites.
Varsham: Ee varsham Sakshiga (Look at the guy’s shoulders!)
So what’s your favorite rain song? Rain memory? Should I be cruel and tag a bunch of you? Well, I should considering not a soul clapped for me as I reached a milestone and here I was writing fresh dirt everyday for the past 16 days in case none of you noticed. *sulk.
Oh well, enjoy! :p