Seasonal Musings

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 clichΓ©d 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?

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21 responses to “Seasonal Musings

  1. beautiful post and a lovely new layout and header for your blog!
    Have been a reader for sometime now… the refreshing showers have me humming the songs ‘saawan barse’ and ‘rim jhim gire sawan’ as well

  2. Quite a reply, that! It’s not difficult to imagine after reading that post why you “would be an exuberant, playfully romantic and tempestuous monsoon day, the kind when ten foot high waves lash the walls of (your) beloved Marine Drive”.

  3. I agree. Much as I think I would like sunny days, it’s really the cloudy days I like best. Spring is perfect, with the crisp, slightly chilly air.

  4. hey, i like the new format!
    i too am a lover of lovely monsoon days. i remember the first time it rained after I moved to the U.S., i ran out to get wet but ran back in right away because the rainwater was sooooo cold. that’s when i really really missed bombay rains and the accompanying chai and pakoras.
    agree that winter in pune is awesome, or at least it was when i lived there. i hear things have changed now.
    now coming to winter in the Northeast, all i can say is that i absolutely and positively hate it. have tried to like it but i seem to progressively hate it more each season. πŸ™‚

  5. khup khup thanks, mumbaitlya pavasachi athavan karun dilyabaddal!!!
    {:)]
    khalchya post madhe aai ani baba vachlyavar marathit bolaychi liberty ghet ahe..

  6. Wonderful. Never been to Bombay but you took me along through this post to the splashing in the rains.
    And I was foolish enough not to do a post on what kind of a day I would be after Thought Safari Tagged me. I wrote it in the comments part of her post tagging me. Guess I didnt want to miss doing it then and there, just the way I have been too lazy to do that Characters wala tag from you. So I will be doing two posts now, one, your tag, and the other her tag. For now, I did the most recent experience. I participated in a Beauty Pageant…..

  7. Hi Anu, welcome here! Do keep commenting now and then just to let me know you were here. πŸ™‚ And yeah, I love those songs too, especially Rim Jhim and its picturisation.

    Thanks D, I love the way you did this tag too.

    Looking forward to your post MM.

    Me too! Me too! ( For Lekhni πŸ™‚ )

    Hi Solitaire, nice seeing you here! And you have one strong will-power lady – I could never study on a nice cloudy day. πŸ™‚

    Oh no, Chakli. The more I say I hate winters, the more difficult they get, it seems to me. So these days I try and tell myself I like them in a different sort of way. πŸ™‚

    Hi Vidu, pleasantly surprised to see a ‘assal’ Marathi comment here. Chaan vatla, kharach! πŸ™‚ Hope you keep visiting.

    Thanks Manpreet, looking forward to your posts too.

  8. Hi JnM..Its raining today in Mumbai-actually drizzling..muck all around still the air is crisp n the sea is beautiful..hmm I think I want to ramble on this so will write on my blog…read d and she too wrote something on what kind of day you are..as for me caanot restrict myslf to one particular day but after reading your post-a cdrizzling monsoon afternoon would be perfect..

  9. Hey Chakli, enjoyed your post. Thank YOU for doing it. πŸ™‚

    Wow Manoj, lucky you, enjoying the Mumbai rains! Welcome here and thanks for your kind words. What is your blog url? I didn’t find the link in your comment.

  10. Pingback: Seasons and memories « Snippets & Scribbles

  11. Hey JnM ..not very net savvy hence my name came instead of my blog..M arti , manoj is my husband!!Yeah bombay is yucky ,mucky yet in parts beautiful during monsoons..

  12. Beautiful post Snippets! Thank you very much.

    Hi Aarti, oh, thanks for clarifying – I was wondering about that. πŸ™‚ You love Bombay monsoons too? Wow! (Wide grin)

  13. Pingback: Tag - my favourite season « The Mad Momma

  14. Technically Mumbai is tropical wet and dry, so it it supposed to have a dry, mild autumn. But this is gone due to the rampant destruction of the national park and the overwhelming number of cars. If you travel just a little bit out of Mumbai you definitely notice the difference in temperature during what were the ‘winter’ months, especially early in the morning. Nowadays the city gets covered in smog from December to February.

    Btw, I never enjoyed those monsoons but I never had much trouble with the summers.

  15. I had no idea Vikram. Thanks for the info – I know the weather is much better once we cross the ghats, in Pune, for example.

  16. Exquisite post, as we who wait for the quenching rains sit and watch the skies. Sending you much encouragement to continue in your efforts….

    Me: Thank you!

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