i

i

October 27, 2007

A Whisper in the clouds

October 2007 is coming to an end, and never in my long life, have I been witness to so much rain over a period of several months. These past months were special and extraoridnary for they recalled old memories amongst Badagas who said that this weather was prevelant only 20 years ago and most of them had not anticipated such a weather to strike the hills.

I was born in Bengal and the most abiding memory of my childhood is the careless dances under the shadow of dark rain clouds. As far as I can remember, rains seem to be form every part of the firmament of my early life. I remember so vividly, 1988, perhaps, June was coming to an end and so was our annual holidays but rains had not yet begun. We used to watch 'Chooti-Chooti' on TV and play in the evenings but that evening, all play stopped. The clouds gained in breath and came rolling towards us. First the wind, then the dust and finally the howl before the rains. In a few minutes, our dry, dreary summer transformed into one of the heaviest monsoons, I remember in my lifetime.

But that was then and in between, have been almost 18 monsoons, all of whom have been special in one way or the other, all with stories and disastors and snakes and mud and some superlative football games. Now, however, though I haven't seen enough of the world to comment on it, I have been witness to some of the most dramatic rainfalls, that can neither be termed as the monsoons nor a storm. For over five or six months, the rains have come, accompanied by her maids in pride, again and again, sequentially, consequentially, but neverthless - the rains decide to encamp in Kotagiri.

In Kotagiri, they say, we live in the rain shadow, but analyse yourself. May, the entire month severely moist with continuos rainfalls and in June, the same too. In July, the rains asked out her friends and the mist who accompanied her needs to be felt to be understood.

In August, I, an official rain maniac, perhaps felt tired of the rain for the first time and decided to go home. Home we went and stayed throughout August, but god! it rained like the good old Bengal rains... though I felt good about it, my love for the childhood rain cannot be diminished till the end of this lifetime. So, we enjoyed the rains at home, ate a lot of singharas and chops which my non native wife relished at the cost of her stomach, roamed around and had fun........ imagining that the rains back in the Nilgiris would have stopped.

Neither could have been true, for it had rained almost continuosly in August and was raining the day we reached back. Woah, they would say but this is the rain god's dance and a glorious dance, I am a witness too. September decided to help us in drying our clothes and one can safely say that it rained merely 15 days with the rest having bright sunlight. But as soon as the gods decided to come down for the annual durga puja functions, the clouds appear to have burst over the Nilgiris. It appears tha one of the gods has probably forgot to switch off his shower before he descended and since he must be touring those innumerable fashion shows in upcountry Delhi, these rains may not end soon. To come to October, and today is still October the 27th, in what seems to be the heaviest downpour I have been witness too. It has rained and with the rain, is the cold which is is biting away at this very moment (heard about stamping on your keyboards to keep warm, visit me soon). The past months were rainy in nature, but coldy and rainy is fun to behold.

Yesterday was the cake in the ice -cold, wet ice. Returning from Coimbatore, the rains swamped some time later and with the Qualis wiper running at full speed, I could not see anything, just drove on, assuming that most vehicles would be stranded, which they were anyways... not everybody is a lover of the rains... Somewhow, we began our climb and at an oppurtune moment, a huge dark electric pole fell some 6 metres away, stopping us at our tracks. A sight to behold, neverthless not everyday. We reached home, had a sleep and am still feel cold everywhere as I write this....

AND THE RAINS ARE ONLY SUPPOSED TO HIT KOTAGIRI DURING THE MONTH OF NOVEMBER - AS WE ARE IN RAIN SHADOW - remember