I do not remember when or how I became so obsessed with rain. May be some summer vacation trip to Kerala. Yes, I had summer vacations here when its monsoon rain in Kerala.
I am just trying to re collect those moments when I have secretly enjoyed rain. Now why I call it ‘secret’ is because small girls always play with other children and don’t sit alone on the steps and watch rain for long hours.
My ancestral home is a small one. An old one. Really old I must say when everybody else has modified his or her ancestral home my dad never did it. The roof would leak when it rained and I would keep shifting my bed from one place to another in middle of the night. That was when for the first time in my life I saw a choriyan puzhu. A worm, which was black in color and was said, will give an itching sensation if it crawls on your skin. I still don’t know the English name of this cute worm. Not cute by nature, it just looked cute to me.
The mornings would be as beautiful as it could be. The smell was the best I can think of. A mixture of smells; of the dry leaves burning under the coconut trees; of the tired wet earth; of the damp bed sheet clothe; of the first smoke of the day from the traditional stove and of the few jasmines and roses in the front garden. I would lazily walk towards the kitchen and sit on the verandah to brush my teeth. I would go to the pond for a shower after that but would end up sitting on the huge stone fixed on the bank of it, which mema (aunt) uses for washing the clothes. And how could I forget the smell of the freshly extracted, thick coconut oil. Ah! The smell of our culture, I could say proudly. I would carelessly rub them into my hair.
Then the rain follows. I would comb my wet hair in hurry, pat some ponds powder on my face, put a round black color pottu, strike a small line of sandalwood paste above it and rush to the front sitting area of the house. The raindrops falling from the red clay roof tiles by then had made a dotted line on the mud. Birds could be seen sheltering on trees under leaves and quivering away to keep themselves warm and dry. These also include crows that stopped crying when it rained. Everything then remains still in memories. Only the rain and my secrets joys lived.
Maybe it was one of these like days that I first fell in love with rain. Since then I have never been to Kerala during the rainy season, but this year I will be. Hopefully the coming month. I know it has already started pouring there. I can wait no longer. Not any longer.