Thursday, July 4, 2013


After a near-drought like situation last year and the year before, this year’s monsoon has been predicted to be near normal, at least in Karnataka. Rains have always been intermittent in Bangalore unlike coastal Karnataka where my parents have recently moved, which experiences incessant rain during monsoon. But this year’s rain in Bangalore is reminiscent of the monsoons from my childhood! Cloudy days, moist afternoons, windy evenings, crisp and cool nights take me back to the days when life was relatively less complicated; A time when rain simply meant raincoats, paper boats on puddles, wet footwear, damp clothes, candle lit meals at home, or an unexpected holiday for schools or simply watching the rain from the window, in all, a time when rain allowed for a pause without any hint of irritation! Now the rain only means flooding of roads, delays, power cuts, traffic jams, and (with due apologies) roads delightfully free from sneaky two-wheelers! Is it the rain or is it our way of looking at the rain? In simple terms, we’ve grown up! J

Hopefully, in an attempt to get back to a less cynical perspective of rain, I read a book that makes rain seem even more romantic that it actually is in reality (there I go again!). Well, it’s not too often that I get excited about a picture book from an Indian publication! It’s not too often that I stumble upon a book that justifies the “reliving childhood” part of my blog! I am not sure why but when I found this new release from Tulika, something told me that I must lay my hands on it!  Highly recommended in the recent issue of “Books and more” magazine, “Raindrops” is written by Vaishali Shroff (who reviews children’s books on the same magazine, I guess)  and illustrated by Ruchi Mhasane is a beautiful take on the monsoon from the perspective of a little girl named Anju who looks out of the window as the rain drenches the city. She finds the streets “dotted” with colourful umbrellas, people huddled under a tree or bus-stop shelters, and a puppy sitting under an umbrella. Just as she outstretches her hand to feel the raindrops, her mother chides her and closes the window shut lest she catch a cold. As huge drops of rain hit the glass and slide down the window making various patterns that looked like a bird, a tree and a cow.  Finally, the girl wonders what has become of the puppy and peers over her window pane to now find two puppies cuddled up beside their mother under the umbrella! I must say the soft water colours bring alive a simple story about a girl experiencing the pleasures of watching the rain! An ideal book to cuddle up with your little one on a wet day!

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