After WEEKS of waiting for a monsoon that appeared to be hanging out in other places instead of Bombay where it was meant (according to various reports, the monsoon was in a: Kerala, b: Amsterdam, c: Edinburgh, d: North East India), it finally arrived at 4.31 am this morning.
At least, I hope it’s here. Though it rained nonstop from 4.41 am to 11.30 am – and I do mean without a break which is extremely monsoony – for all I know, this was just a passing thundershower, the kind the Met Office sneers at and dismisses as ‘pre-monsoon’. Certainly, it isn’t raining now, as I write this, and though it’s cloudy, it isn’t grey, so I am regarding the little patch of sky I can see through the window of my cabin at work with the deepest suspicion. Are you there, monsoon, I’m tempted to demand in a pugnacious manner. But I know I won’t get a reply, so I’m holding back the expletives for now.
It’s funny how I react to the monsoon. By May, I’m all monsoon-prepared, with an emergency kit in the office packed with a full change of clothes, towel, shoes, even toothbrush and toothpaste in case it’s raining so hard that I have to spend the night at the office. (That’s happened a few times in my career. You can make a decent bed on the conference room table with old newspapers spread out as a mattress and old newspapers folded as a pillow, with more old newspapers spread out as a sheet. These are some advantages of print. If newspapers were to go wholly online, we would find it very difficult to get a comfortable night’s sleep on a Kindle or an iPad. So be kind to journalists in monsoon cities, people. Subscribe to print newspapers.)
By May-end, I’ve also got my raincoat in my bag, after it’s been examined for rents and busted zips and missing buttons, and then I’m set for a period when I KNOW that…
First, I will whine and complain about how muggy it is and proclaim that I cannot WAIT for the monsoon.
Second, I will make derisive noises about the Met Office when they claim – AGAIN – that the monsoon will be here by June 10.
Third, when June 10 comes and goes as dry as Republic Day, I will start drumming my fingers with impatience.
Fourth, when a shower or two happens but it’s clear it’s not really the monsoon, I will go MAD with impatience.
Fifth, when it finally rains the way it did this morning, I will sail out with a smile, prepared for horrible traffic with several books in my bag and a shrug of my shoulders. I want the monsoon after all, I should take the rough with the rain.
Sixth, I will feel a little depressed after weeks of grey, rainy days, but still manage a smile at the thought that the lakes are filling and we’ll hopefully not have water problems till the next monsoon.
Seventh, I will be deeply depressed after two months of grey, rainy days and find nothing remotely funny about mushrooms growing on my living room walls and having to dry laundry with a hairdryer cos it won’t dry any other way.
Eighth, I will look up the date of Nariyal Purnima, traditionally the day that fishermen put out to sea again, meaning the monsoon is over.
Ninth, I will be HOMICIDAL when Nariyal Purnima comes and goes, as wet as an alcoholic set loose in an IMFL factory.
Tenth, I will be down on my knees, explaining to the monsoon in the most reasonable way that it really should be on its way by now, people in Zanzibar are desperate for it and we’ll miss it, we’ll miss it BADLY, but we must be considerate, other people elsewhere can’t wait for it to arrive.
And eleventh, when it finally toodles off, think, thank god that’s done, and put it out of my head for the next nine months.
This happens every year, but since I’m only at stage five now, well, it POURED this morning.