Puddles and Rainbows, Reliving a Childhood

Looks like the monsoons have finally reached Delhi and we have some respite from this heat. Unfortunately though, monsoons seem to have become a double edged sword nowadays. Along with the rains and the cool breeze, come traffic jams, water logged roads, clogged drains, dengue and malaria.

It’s a pity though. We seem to have forgotten the enjoyment and romance of the rains. Sitting in our AC offices or cars, living in flats with only small balconies to substitute for a terrace or garden, we don’t remember how it was to feel the rain on our faces, the happiness in our being and the fragrance in our mind. Ooh I just love the sondhi mitti kiΒ khushboo!Β (FACT ALERT: did you know by the way that the fragrance is caused by the bacteria residing under the soil)

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As I idle with my cup of steaming chai with some hotΒ pakori, my mind drifts to the days when rains were awaited with eagerness. I remember a particular day , a Sunday I think, when the family was similarly enjoying chai pakoda in our verandah, and the rains and breeze washed over us. I can still remember the coolness of the breeze, the slight chill from the damp clothes, and the warmth of the family sitting around. I think I had a cold so was not allowed to go dance in the rain and had to satisfy myself with dipping my feet a little in the running water!

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Another Sunday, lovely weather after morning rains, an impromptu picnic is planned. Papa, mummy, Aditi and I. We pack some quick food in a basket, pick some sheets and off we go! After a pleasant lunch in some park, we gaze at the clean and recently washed sky, hoping for a rainbow to break out. It doesn’t. We come back home, get on the terrace and a beautiful rainbow stretched across the Aravalis smiles at us! And then we notice a lighter one, just behind it!

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Yet another memory comes unannounced. I am four, maybe five, in Delhi and my cousin and I decide to race on the road, still wet after a sudden bout of rain. Perhaps we were impatient after being coddled inside home for long. We both run, I am trailing my cousin, and crash!, I fall. Crash again, and he falls as well!! Both of us return home, with scraped knees, a little limp and a smile on our faces. But I am jealous when I see his mother put some red paint on the bruised knee, while my mother proceeds to put some boring white antiseptic on me!

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Paper boats! Oh how can one not think of them while talking about rains. I think it dredges a special kind of nostalgia in all of us. After all, Paper Boat, a big brand now, has developed their entire marketing strategy around the nostalgia of our childhood! Renu, a friend from school, beautifully describes those days as young, dreamy and naive. She fondly remembers racing boats with her brothers and imagining the adventures her boat would have once it disappeared down the manhole! Little did she know that manholes in Jaipur never reach the sea. πŸ™‚

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I am reminded of days when it rained during school hours. Getting wet, squelchy shoes and socks – both disgusting and exciting at the same time, sitting barefoot in class, examining swollen and wrinkled feet and fingers (still don’t what is so attractive about those), wet bag and hopefully dry books inside, my pink raincoat (not very effective in heavy rains) and red gumboots (I simply loved them!).

There is something about the cool breeze, the damp skin and young hearts, that makes monsoons the most romantic of seasons! I remember in the first year of our dating, Kapil and I were sitting on the porch of his college and it suddenly started to pour. Before I could react, he ran out in the rain like a little boy, feeling the rain on his face, getting drenched. I fell in love with him all over again. (Though in those days, anything could make me fall in love with him again and again!)

A more recent memory, perhaps when we were still innocent and carefree. They were Arnav’s first monsoons. The three of us spent a lazy day at Dilli Haat, which ended with a sudden shower. Totally unprepared we ran for cover, but by then Arnav was all wet. But that didn’t deter us from enjoying the day! (It is another matter that Arnav got his first high fever the next day!!).

But it’s been a while since I enjoyed the rains, really enjoyed them I mean. A cousin after reading my last blog told me to chill. And I think it is a good time to take her advice. Listing some of the fun things I could plan to do these monsoons. And so could you.

  • get drenched, (like isn’t it the first obvious thing to do?) and dance (ahem, that I definitely can’t do – you can try if you want)
  • play in the mud, make some mud pies and don’t forget to get dirty (hmm, I think I am going to like that…. need to find a park though!)
  • don’t forget the boat! make lots of boats, decorate them, make some rafts out of ice cream sticks…
  • go for a nature walk. bring out the gumboots (well I will have to buy some – the red ones won’t fit anymore) and go for a walk. bring back some earthworms and toads πŸ˜€
  • And carry the camera (or the phone)! everything looks lovely after a rainshower and one might be rewarded by a beautiful rainbow!
  • Jump in the puddles! you know I was such a goodie goodie – I have NEVER done that! Ya really. SO I must, I must, I must do this.
  • Find a nice monument or a beach or some cafe and just sit… and talk…and listen to the rain
  • Enjoy a wet kiss in the rain (mmmmm… sounds nice!!! DAMN, need to convince the stuffy husband for that)
  • if not that, at least convince him for a walk hand in hand!! (Ya I know, I wrote a long blog about our romance – but you must realise it has been 13 years since we got married AND more importantly I have a boring husband!)
  • end the day with some hot hot tea and piping hot pakoras!!

And when you think about chai pakora – think of getting this awesome tea set designed by Kapil (Sorry, I know I am shamelessly promoting him – but isn’t that what a good wife should do?)

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Have a great monsoon and do tell me what you are planning to do!

40 thoughts on “Puddles and Rainbows, Reliving a Childhood”

  1. Monsoon is to cherished but now a days it is converted into dry cloths get wet. And so many other tensions but after reading this even I want to keep that child awake

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  2. Rain was one of the most anticipated things during my childhood but no more as I fear not reaching office on time. Wonder how the same thing changes priority in the same life time.

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  3. It’s been raining where we live for over a week, with more rain to come. I need to get my kids out there to enjoy some of it like I used to do!

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  4. Jelony | Blogging to help mums – It’s great that you can enjoy the rain and create such wonderful memories because of the rain. I enjoyed being indoors when it’s raining. The rain symbolises the washing away of stress and time for reflection and relaxation for me. I much prefer to be indoors to do these things.

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    1. Yes, as we grow up – the preference is to stay indoors – in our country there is so much traffic and mess that we shudder to go out!

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  5. I love reading your experiences as you are from a different country. But it seems despite our differences we are very much the same. I loved rain showers and mud puddles too growing up.

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    1. Thank you Mandy! The fun of jumping in the puddles will be the same regardless of age, country, class and gender I guess!! πŸ™‚

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  6. I love this! I wish I could experience the rain in your country. Even though, here in the states rain for us means staying indoors and not going anywhere. The rain is messy, but lately my kids have fell in love with jumping in muddy puddles, thanks to Peppa Pig! πŸ™‚ I think that your tips of getting drenched in the rain, making boats and taking photos in the rain will help us live a little more and enjoy life. Thanks for this great post!

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    1. Thanks Malisa! The rain experience in our country varies across the length and breadth – with some places getting non stop rains and others keep waiting for a little!!

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  7. What a great post for thinking of the past and childhood. Funny, when you talked of you and your cousin running right after the rains I thought what if they fell! Then you explained that you did. It amazes me how much I think like a mom now lol. This would be a great post to monetize with a book about paper origami or a tea set like in your photo.

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    1. Thanks so much for your comment Rose! Glad you liked it πŸ™‚ I would like to understand more about your point on monetising though – will reach out separately πŸ™‚

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  8. Your memories of past rains are beautiful. One of my best rain related memories is taking a walk with my husband around our old neighborhood. The sky darkened so quickly we didn’t even notice until the rain started pouring. We were about half a mile from our apartment, so there was no use in running. Getting drenched was unavoidable.

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  9. I wanna join this rain party too. I’m so upset that when i see these, i remember my childhood back in home and now having all grown up and married and living in a cold country its only ice i get to enjoy 😦

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  10. Sondhi mitti ki khushboo is what we love about monsoons in Delhi. Its like an announcement that rains have arrived! We are currently slow travelling in Himalayas and its been raining since last evening, non stop! Endless cups of chai.. what bliss πŸ™‚

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  11. You’re very correct, our posh lifestyle and civilisation has made it’s a reason why we do not appreciate those things we used to before now. I love sitting under the train and feel the drops on my face as they go down my skin.

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  12. Coming from a place where heavy rain isn’t common nor is it appreciated, I have always thought of monsoon as a negative experience, but I love how your article turned it into something positive & worth cherishing!

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  13. This makes me reminisce about my childhood, too! I used to run around in the rain with my friends and play with mud. (Then my mom would get mad because of the dirt) Hahaha!

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