October 30, 2005
CHENNAYIL ORU MAZHAIKALAM!
Ghanan Ghanan Gir gir aaye badhra
Gane ghan ghor kar chaye badhra
Dhanak hanak bole badhra ke danke
Chamak chamak dekho bijuria chamke
Smoothly this song plays on my ears as the rains lash out their fury outside, enveloping the entire world outside in a translucent white sheet. Not drip-drop-drip but pitter patter pour with a ferocity henceforth unknown. Tales of the years back Chennai floods are told with renewed vigour. Water runs back again on Lake View Road transforming it to what it might have been
*above a photo I clicked in the rain!!! :( long long ago, very long ago when it was once a lake midst thick foliage!
Houses transform to mini pools, much to the wee ones’ joy! They thump about in the water, splashing it on to the older ones’ faces! As schools and colleges declare holidays, we wake up to lazy mornings, steaming hot up of coffee and horlicks awaiting us. Cupping them in hands, letting the warmth seep in, and slowly lifting the eyes from the hot concoction and out into the maddeningly slushy roads and joyously dancing trees!
Chennayil oru Mazhaikalam- after a hell lot of longing for water, now it pours…and how!!! Kuduthalum kuduppan, kooraiya pichundu kuduppan! Lovely fragrant earth tantalizes our noses and fills it with its intoxicatingly sweet perfume. Mother Earth heaves out a huge sigh and lets out the huddled summer’s heat in one burst of steam, as the first drop of rain falls on the cracked soil. The erstwhile blazing gold firmament adorns a steely gray and a kohl-black attire and threatening, menacing clouds huddle up and flash a toothy sparkling smile and let out a raspy harsh laugh to chill the bones.
I remember my periamma recounting her younger days when she was advised tochant ‘Arjuna Arjuna’ at every thunder clap. Divinely beautiful, I feel- both the magical alluring lightening and the simple trustful chanting!
Paralyzing all work, roads get blocked, electricity fails, newspapers become a soggy dump of paper pulp. Too lazy to move, too cold to work, all the eyes do, is to san the invisible horizon for one streak of golden sunshine to warm the benumbed bones!
Little street kids let out their dreams afloat on the puddles, steering their paper boats-one pirate ship drowning them all. Mud fights in the construction site opposite my house. Rail tracks forming an Olympic-length pool with beautiful partitions for the swimmers. Trains waiting for hours, impatient anxious men looking out for movement; fear, sorrow, tire-all flash across in a moment on their faces as they let out expletives cursing the rain. Endless waits. Soaked clothes. Droplets glistening on a wet umbrella. Pearls falling from wet pipes to fall one by one on outstretched arms. Puddle dance in the balcony. Shivering crows and pigeons taking refuge in the terrace. Craning necks, checking out water levels on street with Turkey towels for cover. Endless calls to friends confirming a holiday. Rainy morning wishes on sms. Plastic covers on heads; pants transforming to stylish capris. Warm baths. Sweaters and socks-English dressing in India. Dirty jeans. Steaming vethakozhambu. Mists of Swiss, swirling near the skies. Anxious ‘are you ok” enquiries. Beautiful thoughts digging their roots deep into the fertile mind. Wild fancies and delightful music. Rubbing of palms. Cold shivers and chattering teeth. Sudden humming of rain songs. A distant rumble of thunder, a flash across the skies. Arjuna Arjuna.
Chennaiyil oru mazhaikalam!