As residents of a country who usually wake up to bright sunny skies, the gloom dominated by tumbling greys — smoky and silver, the chilly morning carrying with it a hint of rain was nothing short of magic.
The greys darkened as deep smudges claimed the skies. There was a hush punctured by a low rumble of thunder. The laden clouds, trembled at being held shackled to the sky, pregnant with droplets burst forth loosing themselves to the will of gravity, each one born from sunshine and desalinated by nature’s hand to bestow a watery gift upon the parched Earth. They hit the ground deepening every hue, inviting a boldness to all that is familiar, a nuance so refreshing. Kissed by the rain, a dense sweetness of earth enveloped all within its sweet embrace as a fresh sense of cleanliness caressed the chill morning air.
A weekend rain calls for lazy mornings when we can choose to keep away from traffic jams, do little but stare at the balcony turning into a squelchy mess and ignore the piling laundry without excuses, instead training our eyes into the rainy outdoors, seeing through the drops a kaleidoscope of thoughts, daydreams and memories.
The advent of monsoon in my ancestral home in Kerala (India) when the first showers brought with it the cool winds after a sweltering summer. The drizzle that quickly gathered momentum turned into cannon fires venting fury on the scorched earth. A spell of rain always followed a power outrage and the grey sky threw us into a frenzy of darkness broken by shards of lightning. We huddled close to one another breaking into dramatic squeals when bolts of lightning followed an angry rumble of thunder.
It was then that I saw mother running out into the rain. The looming darkness deepened my concern that was overridden with curiosity. As I peered through the wet panes of the window, I saw her hunched figure through sheets of pouring rain hurriedly gathering mangoes, that had borne the brunt of the rain’s fury and now dotted the squelchy ground, into a little bag fashioned from the ends of her wet saree. I mindlessly stepped out to help her, ignoring the warnings that were drowned by the music of the rain. Fat droplets pinched at my skin, its fury that stopped me on my tracks, then running down like tiny rivers. Ice cubes went down my spine as I drenched my tresses limp. The rain, the petrichor, the lightning that lit the skies and stretches of drenched paddy stared up at the gigantic mountains that held them in a protective embrace together captivated me under their magical spell.
The warmth of coffee awakened me back to the present. The aroma of coffee did its magic and memories lined up, this one coated in golden brown. The memory brought back the smell of heating oil that is sizzling with banana fritters in mother’s kitchen, each coated with love and batter, a slice of heaven that awaited us after a rainy day at school when my brother and I fought both for the better part of the fritters and mother’s attention. The times when we scalded our fingers and tongues between hurriedly measuring the piping hot delicacy and greedily claiming the biggest of the batch.
As I woke up from my dreamy trance, an empty cup in hand, the magic of coffee and memories lingered about the surrounding chill, my mind was made up on how I would spend this rainy weekend. This day when the rain gods smiled down on us, mine would be punctuated with hot food, warm company and balmy thoughts and memories that become this write-up as I groove to the pitter patter of raindrops, the chorus of rumbling thunder and drink into the perfume of wet earth.
— Pranitha Menon is a freelance writer based in Dubai. Twitter: @MenonPranitha