Favorite seasons are tied to places in my mind. In Mumbai, I loved the monsoon, but there was hardly any choice, was there? Summers in Mumbai are unbearably hot and dreary, and as for Mumbai winters, what are they and where do I find them please? So monsoon it was and will be in Mumbai. (I know the monsoon is more feared than enjoyed these days, but I refuse to blame the elements for the mayhem caused by our bursting-at-its-seams city’s poor infrastructure and indifferent officials.)
Lush greenery, wet and misty mornings, the thrill of the first rumble in the sky, the clichéd bheegi mitti ki khushboo, the gay abandon of getting wet in the first rains, the relief from the horrible May heat and dusty roads and brown hills and pale woebegone trees, waterfall picnics in the hills, garam-garam butta and onion bhaji and wada pav, splashing around in rain water puddles, twirling my colorful umbrella and soaking everybody around in the process, coming home and changing into dry clothes and perching myself on the swing in our balcony, a warm cup of coffee in hand, to enjoy the rains outside – these are just some of my wonderful memories of monsoons in my hometown.
(Incidentally, I splashed around in puddles of rain water in our complex this morning without a guilty thought – unlike in Mumbai, I knew this puddle contained rain water and little else! This simple and innocent moment of fun brought back all these childhood memories – I remembered walking to the bus-stop in my white raincoat with big green and blue flowers, spoiling Aai’s saree by jumping around in the water, I remembered blocking the drainage hole, much to Aai’s consternation, to fill up our terrace with rain water and then splashing away to glory while getting wet in the torrential downpour from above.)
I had no love for the monsoon in Pune though, where I lived for a couple of years after college – the dull lackadaisical drizzle throughout the day made me long for a straightforward torrential Mumbai downpour to get it over with – but winters in Pune are simply delicious. Cold, but not unbearably so, the mornings are perfect to snuggle under a warm razai (and miss the bus!) and an added attraction are the gorgeous and heavenly fragrant rajnigandha flowers one can bring home by the armful in the evening, without emptying one’s pockets for the privilege.
Now you would think me crazy if I said I love winters in the Northeast United States, my home for now, wouldn’t you? (Although they have their moments, I must admit – I like the peace and quiet of winter here, and I enjoy snow-mobiling and snow fights and building snowmen.) But the New England spring is the closest equivalent for my beloved monsoons – it is a similar harbinger of hope and freshness and new beginnings. I especially love the transition from spring to summer when tiny green leaves and colorful little flowers peep out into our hitherto dull gray world. The air is nice and crisp, not-too-hot and not-too-cold, and it is such a relief to finally get out after months of being cooped indoors.
Phew! As usual, this post turned into my ramblings on a dozen random memories rather than a simple answer to the question ThoughtSafari had tagged me for – What kind of day would you be? But what a rush of beautiful memories it brought on! Thank you so much for this lovely tag TS, I thoroughly enjoyed doing it.
Now to cut this rather long post short and answer the question, I would be an exuberant, playfully romantic and tempestuous monsoon day, the kind when ten foot high waves lash the walls of my beloved Marine Drive. And finally, I am very curious, M, D, MadMomma and Usha, what kind of day are you like?