BENGALURU : Every time they taught us in school that there were four seasons – spring, summer, winter and autumn – I remember wondering what spring and autumn were like. As far as I was concerned, there were two seasons – summer and winter and on occasions, it would rain for a few weeks. In Odisha where I grew up, rainy season meant a few showers before the winter set in.However, rainy season brought with it a lot of excitement as a child. The thrilling possibility of school and tution classes being called off due to the rain. Getting together to sing rain rain go away, without really meaning any of the lyrics. The occasional hail-storms that triggered my curiosity. If elders were not around, jumping in puddles was the ultimate rainy-day fantasy.
Sadly, rains are hardly the joy that they were. As you grow up, the rainy season is nothing but a pain in the posterior. Unfortunately, private companies and organisations do not declare a ‘rainy day off’. So you have to report to work, just wet through mind, body and soul. To make matters worse, I ride a two-wheeler. Two-wheelers were not designed keeping the rains in mind. Which means I get a free mud-shower every time a vehicle overtakes me. Then there are cars that splash you with water, powered as they are by horse-power. Then there are the potholes, which spring up a surprising vista of options – encountering a pothole could mean anything from visiting the mechanic to returning to your creator.
Sadly, the fashion industry has turned a blind eye towards the rainy season too.
I cannot use umbrellas since they always end up turning upside down, making me look like a weirdo sending secret messages to aliens. And rain coats! Heaven knows rain coats need a makeover, and soon! They come in the drabbest colours, the entire road resembling a squad of dementors marching towards Hogwarts. Then there is the issue of water seeping in from some unattended corner of the rain coat, and you can feel its journey from head to toe!
It is in moments like this that you prefer a flood of rain, instead of that ONE drop that is finding its own way inside the rain-coat. Every time I wear a rain coat, I look like an out-of-work actor who was last seen as an extra in the Matrix series of films. Then there is the delightful assortment of creatures that come visiting – moths, scorpions, snakes and mosquitoes. While the first three have become rarer by the day, we as a species haven’t been able to beat mosquitoes. Not many people know that mosquitoes are the largest killers on earth. They kill more creatures than human beings – and they don’t even have guns and missiles like we do! We humans have tried everything against mosquitoes – ointments, mats, liquids, coils, gels, sprays, patches and zapping machines. Not one of them has worked.
The latest mosquito-gadget is the mosquito-racket. I spend a good 20 minutes every day, walking about with the racket in one hand, and hopes in the other. I slash the racket, displaying forehand skills of Saina Nehwal and backhand shots like PV Sindhu. And yet, my friends are back, buzzing in my ear.
With every growing year, the rainy season has become more and more unbearable. Clearly, how much you enjoy rains depends on how old you are. Legend has it that Tansen could bring about rains when he sang Raag Malhaar. If I were Akbar, I would ask to invent a raag that could send the rains away!
The author is a writer and comedian