The south-west monsoon hit Kerala last week, a week early. Bombay two days ago, and it raced up the west coast, hitting Gujarat yesterday and today, nearly three weeks ahead of schedule.
It rained all night, and all morning, a relief from the sweltering heat. Dark clouds have lumbered by all day, as a cool soothing breeze washes away the summer heat. Sitting on the porch, on the hinchko, the porch-swing, sipping hot masala chai, and admiring the lush verdure --- the kind, as I often say, that is only seen at the first arrival of the monsoon -- the smell of wet earth, and everything glistening wet.
The monsoons are beautiful, much sung about, the subject of poetry and art. Yes, there will be a time to wonder, yet again, just why the municipal services are so inadequately prepared (it's not like it's a surprise. This happens every year!). To wonder whether the floods will be worse than last year or not. To complain about the bugs. To cluck about inept bureaucracies, corrupt politicians and the like. To wonder how many will die of malaria and dysentery and cholera this year.
But for now, it's time to offer up a grateful malhar, and enjoy the annual gift of the rains.
I've no idea why the streets cannot handle just a few inches of rain. But no one seems to be fazed really.
Apart from malhar (the monsoon raag), the monsoons always remind me of that inane Gujarati ditty.
ઊની ઊની રોટલીને
(Aavyo varsaad, dheburyo parsaad, ooni ooni rotli ne karela nu shaak)
The rains have come. Sweet offerings to the gods! Warm rotis and karelas.
Curling up on the hinkcho with some chai will do as well.