I have just concluded the book “Rain in the Mountains” and am still drenched in the magical literary shower of the writer. In the course of the book I revisited my childhood in the great northern plains of India. All the wonderful moment and the joyful experiences came down pouring on me. Then I thought, why not relive the rains in the plains of India and the long gone childhood once again and experience the nostalgia through my pen.
Gone are the days when people used to enjoy their life and cherish little joyful experiences. In the scramble of life people have forgotten to live their life. The northern plain of India is in the heart of the subcontinent. Most of the population here is dependent on agriculture and that is all the more reason that made the rains special here. Rains in the plains was not merely a weather condition but was an emotion. The rains were the complementary of life. The black clouds which came riding on the refreshing cold breeze always put smiles on the faces of the people and with the first drop of rains the suppressed emotions of the people used to burst out. The air was filled with joy and life. The smell of the soil blended with the rain used to intoxicate the villages and the towns and they danced on the melody of raindrops striking the ground. Children came out of their houses and danced and played in the shower of the pearly raindrops. They tried to embrace the sky with their hands open and their face lifted up with excitement and joy as the tiny drops of pearls flicked on their soft skin. But some children were rather shy one who thought it best not to get drenched in the rain water and maintain a little distance from the pouring heaven. But this class of children had their own ways to experience the rains. They could be seen standing at the edge of the wall or the courtyard with their hands stretching out in the open and feeling the raindrops on their bare hands and the wide smile on their faces were the manifestation of their internal bliss and satisfaction. The accumulated water or the temporary stream of flowing water was also of great importance to the little folks. Paper boats used to be a great sport in these days and children used to race their boats against each other to see who wins. Rains were the time when life almost came to a satisfying halt in the land and people used to sit together and talk over pakodas and chai. The rains were the indication of the start of harvest season in the Great Plains. The farmers began to sow the seeds of paddy in the fields flooded with water. A group of farmers, men and women, sowing little paddy plants in the field and singing melodious harvesting songs were a common sight in the villages.
Rainy season bought and incited a lot of emotions, but one emotion that the winds carried with them and infected everyone with it was love. Rains were the delight of romantics. I think that the wind used to carry the messages of the dear ones to their lovers along with it from distant lands and made the whole environment exotic. The rains also swallowed all the heat of the land and created an environment where longed for their love. This love and romance was also celebrated extensively in the folk music and dance of the region especially Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. A different class of folk music is purely dedicated to the rains, the rainy season and the people in the rains known as ‘Kajari’. Kajari incorporates everything in it, everything from the love of Krishna and Radha to the love of a wife for her husband in another land.
The rains also brought the people close to the nature. It broke the monotony of the life. The fields full of small paddy saplings and the mango and litchi trees humbled and nurtured by the rain looked majestic. Some trees also added delight to the rainy mood by voluntarily offering their fruits to the people and animals by detaching them from their stem and leaving them on the ground. The ever resilient grass and small ponds sprang to life on the gentle touch of rain. The insects and the frogs added their own sweet satisfying harmony to the music of nature. Everything is so calm composed and fulfilling in the rain that people forget about their imperfections and that of the world.
But today the joy and magic of rain is somewhat lost in the speed of today’s life and lifestyle. The soils are replaced by concrete and that’s probably why peacocks don’t dance anymore in the rains. In the times when we are getting far away from love and emotion and are busy being judgmental and insulting towards others and are stuck in the virtual world for good, I miss that sensation of rain which made me realize the reality of this life. Now also I sometimes get myself away from the screens of mobile and computer and open the window to get lost in myself looking at the rain and listening to its music.