Sunday, April 19, 2009
"Oh how I long for the pitter patter of the raindrops... the smell of the wet earth, the fresh green of the leaves.. the scrubbed clean look of the town.. oh! oh!" This is usually the way a conversation goes amongst the NRI ladies. The decked up ladies with each part of their body coloured and in competition with the next sit sipping the choicest of wine and painting in glamorous hues the raindrops of India.
In another corner wearing my regular casuals, devoid of colour and conversation, and usually nursing a drink, sits yours truly. Also thinking about India, the rains. But try as I might, my romantic mind fails to conjure up the images so beautifully drawn by these ladies. Maybe I need a stiffer drink. What I see is continuous downpour for straight three to four months, water logging on the most important of thoroughfares, drainage water getting mixed with the drinking water pipelines causing a deluge of epidemics, trains and traffic at a standstill indefinitely, the poor and the homeless, which make more than 60% of our country at their worst, if that is possible and fathomable(God knows how many drinks to make that horror sink!). The homeless without even the barest of shelter now, the power cuts, the electrocutions, the wait by the window for someone close to return home to safety, the dreaded phone call announcing an accident...these are the images that flood me.
I get up and double my drink. What the hell? Why can't I see colour in the raindrops of India. I am in the same condition as these socialites, sitting in the middle of a rain deprived country, where no season makes any impact, as like the supermarkets which sell all types of veggies the year round, the homes here also maintain the same season all year round.. that of an impersonal, comfortable 22 degrees. So when they can sit in this dry comfort and visualise this idealistic image, why cant I?
Finally, I do see colour, yes the second drink is definitely helping. I see colour of fortitude in the men and women of my country who brave it in the rains each day to reach their workplaces, I see the colour of discipline in the school kids who have at the most, the luxury of a single rainy day holiday through the entire span of the three to four months of rain. The colour of hunger in the multitudes of bais who come each day to clean and scrub in various houses while worrying about their homes in danger of flooding, the colour of bravery in the jawans who stand vigil at the LOC whatever degree of rain. Yes, there is colour of joy in the children jumping puddles, in the lovers sharing an ice cream, in a hot mug of tea by the window after a long rainy day. But to remain spotless and dry, with not a smudge on your makeup, and romanticize the rains... is definitely a talent, drink or no drink!!
As a post script I would like to mention that none of us, NRIs plan our holidays to witness the romance of rains in our hometown though..we usually make it to India during the winters!! think about it...