So June has begun... and the monsoons are here! It's my first Indian monsoon in three years! I was out of the country, and though I had rain, nothing can compare with the wet-mud-smell, thundering-and-dark-at-5.30 pm, electricity going with a distant BOOM!, ugly-raincoat-wearing, hot-chai-sipping Indian monsoon experience. Now my mum just has to make hot onion bhajjyas (extremely unhealthy but perfect for the monsoons) and it will be all I remembered and hungered for during my exile.
My dad keeps saying, "This is not the monsoons!" This is the man who spends most of May saying, "The monsoons are coming" every time he sees a cloud. But now that it's pouring, the weather has cooled down, and we've bought our rain gear, he denies it. Fine, technically, it's till the pre-monsoon showers, or something, but for all practical purposes, it's pretty much the monsoon experience.
Monsoon is a weird word. Mon. Soon. Mawn. Sooon. MON-soon. Mon-SOON. Just say it enough times. To make this take slightly more intelligent, here's the origin of the word monsoon:
The English monsoon came from Portuguese monção, ultimately from Arabic mawsim ("season"), perhaps partly via early modern Dutch "monsun". (Via Wikipedia of course)
I didn't always look forward to the monsoons. That's because when I was a kid the smell and feel of the monsoons was mixed up with the smell and feel of new stationery, textbooks, school bags, covering notebooks with brown paper, buying lunch boxes and lunch bags, and a NEW SCHOOL YEAR. Which, by the way I hated, partly because I'm an introvert and partly because the Indian school system sucks. Also, it was the end of the lazy, reading-my-eyes-out summer holidays. But now I'm an adult, I love what I do, and no more school ever again! Yay monsoons!
Speaking of fashion, there is just no way to survive the monsoons with any semblance of style. What cool people do is make sure they are rich enough to own cars, so they don't really have to deal with the monsoons at all, except to splash hapless pedestrians. (It happens!)
What the rest of us do is wear cool-ish rain jackets. My cool sister (not that you're not cool, J) used to own a bright yellow rain jacket that was for the epitome of fun, cool, fashion statement. So rain jackets are the way to go, right?
No! Because when you're riding a bike (which we do a lot), the rain jackets can only take a light shower. If it's pouring, your legs get drenched, and unsightly wet patches appear in awkward places. (All Indian bike riders know what I'm talking about.) (Also, I like parentheses.) So fashion goes for a toss, and I resign myself to long ugly raincoats. But wait, it gets worse. Even raincoats let in rain in the gaps between the buttons. Rain ponchos? Nope, because they don't have sleeves.
Alas, the only fail-proof method of staying mostly dry is the most painfully unfashionable one advocated by my mother- the backward raincoat method. Yup, you put on your raincoat so the buttons are behind you, thus keeping your front dry, and your dignity in shreds.
(Shall we call this #firstworldproblemsinthethirdworld or feel better about ourselves by calling in #thirdworldproblems?)
The best part about the monsoons is that there is NOTHING that feels better than curling up in bed with a good book and a cup of tea when it's raining outside. Of course, the worst part about the monsoons is that there is nothing worse than knowing you have to get out of bed and leave the house when it is a dismal grey rainy day outside.
A rainy day looks very different depending on where you're looking at it from.
And of course we must have a picture!
More quick takes at Jen's!