The author discusses the intense romance shared by the rains and the various forms of life
“Some people feel the rain, the others just get wet.”
Imagine the smell of the first showers of the season and your mind almost immediately wanders to paperboats, riding bicycles in the rains and enjoying that piping hot cup of tea/coffee with some delectably feel-good pakodas. Even the media, from cinema and music to art and craft, has also enjoyed an evidently undying romance for the rains.
But as I write, overlooking a feathered migratory guest rejoicing in the rains on the cables suspended from my window across the street, it seems that this feeling, emanating like holy smoke from incense, is not just restricted to the emotions associated with Eros-type love. It’s great if you have a partner to accompany you on long drives or for cuddling up indoors, or even some friends to share a joint or to chat up over a bottle of Old Monk; but there’s good enough chance that you’ll get romantic with only the rains for amity.
And why not; rains bring about a sense of life, which in itself is the most romantic notion. The trade winds of the monsoon reach India through thousands of miles of sea and are loaded with the moisture and touch of the cool heights, first of the Western Ghats and then the Himalayas. Signalling the end of the Sun’s autocracy in the clear skies, the first spell of rains impregnates the dry, arid lands for prosperity.
A good monsoon could mean so much to a country like India where most of our livelihoods depend on the agricultural produce. A good monsoon could also mean so much scenic beauty across the diverse lands of the subcontinent. While seeds begin to sprout, fresh, green leaves are born and the doors to the heavens open up into seven different colours through a rainbow, even the fauna regales. You don’t need me telling you why watching a peacock dance under cloudy skies is one of the most poetic sights that nature can offer.
But as you grow up, you realise that rains entail more than just picnics and bringing out the inner child. In some parts of the country, it also causes heavy damage. Many roads and houses are washed away and so are many precious lives. Along with hurting human life, floods also affect much of the forest vegetation and the animals around it. But doesn’t every idea of romance come with its own tragedies?
According to philosopher Berys Gaut, pleasure and pain are not really opposites: they may be two sides of the very same coin. And with equal sympathies for the loss caused by the rains, it’s just how this romance works. It’s the thing with intense love; it never measures, it only gives. And sometimes it doesn’t realise that maybe it’s giving more than what’s needed.