Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Of first rains and subsequent 'first rain story'

It rained last night. I emphasize because I cannot put words to the feeling of liberation and sheer unadulterated joy when the gale kicked up the dust and scattered my floor with twigs and a lone yellow leaf.

Soon there was a fine coating of dust on everything... the dvd player, the top of the fridge and mostly my bed and pillow placed strategically close to the balcony to steal as much of the stray breeze i can.

By the time I ran out to gather a handful of dry clothes from the clothesline, the wind whipped the telephone wires, spiralled down the narrow rain pipes and somehow caught me standing in the balcony like a blooming idiot with a grin permanantly plastered on my face.

so it did what i expected (and yes, hoped a little) it to do. in one whisk it yanked the band from my hair and before i could shift the weight of clothes to the other hand, flew it away to the next terrace.

The process of first rains of the season is like giving yourself to your lover for the very first time. He teases, he torments and he holds back. You are scared that it will happen and yet you are scared that it might not...

As I rode the wind last night, the chill setting in my skin, finding my pores and giving me goosebumps I let the gale play with me a little... till the temperature dropped, till the smell of dry earth seeped my room with the smell of cloves and then i rode the rains... the first wet drops and the torrential impregnable fortress thereafter.

Perhaps I slept with a smile still lingering on my lips... because I certainly carried it to the office this morning!

"Aiye madam. Come grab a seat. And then maybe we can discuss why you are almost an hour late?" I could feel the frown coming up, sighed and tried to gauge the mood of my Boss.

"Bloody rains. No cab. Mile long traffic jam. No electricity." The tirade continued while i wondered whether I should just ease out of the room while he rants and raves.

"Who will do the Rain Story?" So much for easing out.

What followed was a string of phone calls to the Met department. I was wrong, the wind in my balcony was not carrying me the message of my lover over seven seas in the season's first rains. It was merely a trough over the Bay of Bengal and is likely to cause more intermittent showers in southern India and east coast in the next 24 hours. We'll get some in Delhi if we are lucky, the Met office told me.

The Met director is a dear old man who, having given so many wrong forecasts, and some right ones which newspapers refused to highlight, have come to the conclusion that life isn't what its cracked up to be.

And that journalists are "bloody buggers" who are constantly pestering and ridiculing him in their "fancy phone-ins in front of their fancy OBVs" and silly columns. "Arrey baba, am I Red Indian tribe that I'll watch the ant-line and give rain forecast? Am I god that I'll pull my puppet strings and pour showers over north India?" he frets to me. Quite true.

Having dissected the first showers such and peppered my copy with a genuine quote from the fruit vendor in front of our office (he is the source of most of the quotes that go into our Inflation, Earthquake, Rain, Traffic, Adulteration, Pesticides in Coke and a wide range of other copies) and a fake one from one "Ankit Sharma, student of Delhi University", my Rain Story was ready.


K.S. Sudhi said...

hi ritu,

Last week, when i had to file a page 2 story, i found that nothing was coming in my way.
then came the monsoon or rather the monsoon that didnt turn up.
your mail made me copy the story for u.

"Monsoon, the great Indian guessing game"
Staff Reporter

Kochi: When will the southwest monsoon hit the Kerala coast? The whole country is waiting for the answer. And it's that part of the year when the great Indian guessing game on monsoon reaches its crescendo.

Though rain pundits predicted May 24 as its arrival date, no signs of the onset were visible anywhere.

No cloudy sky, no croaking of frogs and the usual wind that chaperon raindrops to the land. The clear blue sky and the sunny day belied at least some of the most seasoned weathermen.

As usual. Now, the next date please... .The onset of southwest monsoon over Kerala will be delayed by three to four days, announced Indian Meteorological Department on Wednesday.

The reason: Unfavourable weather conditions in the Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea. A typhoon in the Pacific Ocean, changes in some of the meteorological conditions in North India and a depression that was formed in the Head Bay of the Bay of Bengal... .

A combination of these factors delayed the onset which was predicted on May 24, reasoned C.K. Rajan, director, Centre for Monsoon Studies of the Cochin University of Science and Technology.

Now situations are becoming favourable for the onset. One can expect it to reach Kerala coast latest by May 28, say weathermen.

Weathermen have explanations for everything related to monsoon. For its arrival and non-arrival and on-time arrival and delayed advent, they have scientific explanations. But monsoon keeps everyone guessing. Without any apparent reason and leaving the commoners and learned ones alike wondering about its vagaries. The traders, predictably, are the most prepared ones for the season.

Raingears, umbrellas, waterproof schoolbags and rain-wears... . They have stocked everything that you need for the season. Now the choice is yours. The civic administrators are also gearing up to meet the monsoon.

De-silting of the drains is also on as part of the monsoon preparedness.

Sudhi said...

deepa enjoyed reading the rain story very much and she wanted me to convey her comment to you.
You devil, i dont like you. I simply hate you. Because, as u can guess, the item was very very good and i loved reading it. I have already copied it and mailed to some of my friends including padma.
You idiot, think of writing some fiction than wasting your time at the agency.
i had SMSed marisa and she blamed me for not paying her a visit.
keep writing.

Chaupal said...

a friend posted me the link to you blog. The fellow deserves a thank.

Tanya said...

hey babes,

Keep writing - cos there're a lot of us looking forward to the next post! :)

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