Memories often form the brightest part of our thoughts. There always is the temptation to commence a conversation with “Good old days”. While change is a more permanent feature than the status quo on the face of the planet, the mind always wanders and hovers around what things used to be ‘Once Upon a Time’.
I am your own Belagavi aka Belgaum, erstwhile Venugram and just like my inhabitants, I am gladdened by the arrival of the much-awaited monsoon. It’s always a wonderful feeling when the elements of nature emerge in a whole new bathed glory. The withered grass awakens to a whole new lease of life, the trees unleash their enchanting green and everything assumes the beauty of the excitement of a newborn. Life seems more alive and the freshness of the air is almost intoxicating. The dark shroud of the cloud is ominous no more since it brings wet promises of times that are important for sustenance and subsistence for the year to follow.
The sun has its share of hide and seek. Each downpour brings in waters accumulated from far-off lands. I sometimes wonder where and from which distant lands, the clouds gather their booty. The parched mother earth eagerly gulps its fill as the accumulating waters trickle down to the depths to create a store that is tapped by all forms of life.
While each monsoon may seem the same yearly spectacle, there is always the memory reminiscent of the good old days when, maybe, the spectacle was even more spectacular. In good old times, the behavior of the clouds was different and more predictable. The punctuality of the monsoons functioned like clockwork. Come the first week of June and a resolute blanket of the dark clouds would set in, refusing to budge for over two months. The local folk would largely crave to remain indoors. The wet soil would accumulate a characteristic chill which would soon transcend to take the form of biting wet cold and the residents would draw on their warmest clothes and even snuggle cozily in the depth of warm blankets. The ice cream shops would be shut for the term and the atmosphere would be thick with the aroma of hot tea and fried food.
Puddles in the streets with water assuming the red shades of the soil and threatening to leave stubborn patches on clothes would signal the arrival of wet prosperity. The expanses of the paddy fields would be overflowing with water with tender sprouts struggling to hold on to the soil for dear life with an ambition to feed humankind. The farmers bearing the gusty wind would be toiling heedless of the cold and the breeze to ensure that the little sprouts would get due justice for their efforts.
Small lakes at the outskirts would overflow and make their way to the scant human habitation of the extension areas and little kids and not-so little kids would get a chance to try their hands at fishing in a town devoid of any major water resource. The catch of the day would be displayed proudly to parents and the little fish would be deposited in neighborhood wells to extend the delight for another day.
The whole canvas was a sheer delight to the senses. Good old yesteryears…..Will it be the same again or will it just be a tale that starts with “Once Upon a Monsoon?”