Friday, June 14, 2013

Monsoon’s here!

It’s that time of the year again when your handbag feels a little heavier than usual, thanks to the umbrella you'd better carry, or when you can simply blame the weather for all your street food cravings or those multiple cups of chai at work, or  when you can expect your little one to catch a cold every other day or thankfully bid goodbye (at least temporarily!) to all your water woes and brace yourself for some more traffic woes!  Well, after playing truant last year, monsoon has hit the South and is expected to be near normal this time around. Monsoon always gets me nostalgic of my stay in Portland which is known for its cloudy days accompanied by incessant rain most part of the year. Monsoon is also reminiscent of the good old school days back in the 80s when school children could be seen leaving the school with their colourful raincoats and rain-caps. I remember donning my pink raincoat to keep me dry on those rainy evenings as I walked or took the BTS (public transport) bus home! Somehow, I haven’t witnessed a similar sight in the recent years during monsoon and I am not sure if it’s because it doesn’t rain enough for a raincoat or the raincoat isn’t enough for today’s children!  J

Welcoming this year’s monsoon, I had Abhay read “Peacocks and Pakoras” by Mala Kumar and Manisha Chaudhry and pictures by Priya Kuriyan, part of the Rituchakra series on seasons brought out last year by Pratham publications. The young protagonist of the Rituchakra series,  Meenu returns to welcome monsoon after a long hot summer! Meenu loves everything the Varsha Ritu (monsoon in Sanskrit) has to offer - the dark clouds with an occasional thunder (an unusually brave kid!), the cool rainy breeze, the smell of the wet earth, the dancing peacocks (she must live in the countryside or in a zoo!)  and the singing cuckoo (this one is definitely a possibility in a city, but may become a rarity  soon enough!), Shobha aunty’s kajari ( folk songs sung during the rain), getting wet in the rain while returning home from school (no wonder I don’t see the raincoats!), vibrant green foliage, and the smell of the pakoras being fried in the kitchen and the fact that she does not have to water her mango plant anymore (something I can identify with!) Of all the books in the Rituchakra series, we enjoyed “Peacocks and Pakoras” the best…and it is probably because monsoon, for various reasons, is the one of the most celebrated seasons of India! Enjoy the rain… everyone!   

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