Monday, 17 June 2013

It's Raining, Frogs!


I woke up to the mating call. (Oh, not his, no! He could barely see his toothbrush that hour). I woke up to a mating call of an amphibious kind... 

Monsoons in Delhi are associated with certain images and ideas that refuse to leave me. Over the last 13 years here – as I went from 17 to 30, I have seen rivers flowing down flyovers and flyovers flowing down rivers, to join the sea at the next intersection and the Pacific Ocean at Dhaula Kuan. I have sat in rickshaws launching towards Arts Faculty sans any propellers, taking 30 minutes every 100 meters and 30 times the fare. A downpour always meant LSR hostellers in chappals and shorts, sitting licking ice lollies right when the class began, and till much later when Literature was back on the shelves. Wet umbrellas have served as handy missiles for bus misbehaviour en route India Gate – where more ice creams and splish-splashing awaited. Even going to the DU gardens, and guiltlessly disturbing the love-birds with our teasing ooos-n-coos. Then, one stage later, it was all about swiping the entry card to the HT Media building in time, even if it meant squeezing yourself from between the railing on the divider to cross the road – just so the Chandni Chowk kohlapuri remains dry and high away from the flooded underpass and its hanky seller. And now, real joy as a mother in seeing the joy that rain brings to my son’s being. One roll of thunder and windows are opened, doors unlocked and curtains drawn apart to see and be seen by the raindrops outside. To be one with the sight, the sound and the smell of monsoons! And later, to see him “helping” me clean the verandah with a wiper – cleaning it of all the baggage that the rain carried as it fell on our doorstep. 

And then Today happened after I heard the mating calls … 

Actually, he did. “Froggie mumma, froggie calling outside” and then I realized what the din was about. There must have been a dozen of them, although they sounded like 12000. The back lane, CPWD’s favourite dumping ground had drowned in the morning rains and in its place was a huge pool of floating swimming leaves, twigs and Mr. and Miss Frogs - totally abuzz, like a prom morning where every croak was either a pick-up line or a successful hurrah! Some were swimming like there’s no tomorrow, others just floating around with their limbs outstretched, letting the ripples made by others bob them around. Mr. Show-off sat on the parapet displaying his wares and Mr. Happy came out to show us an ear-to-ear grin. Least mindful of the light drizzle, we two too went ribbit croak ribbit ribbit at our little gate – celebrating this beautiful rainy morning with who-could-have-thought, little speckled Frogs all aglee where once there was a gutter in a bed of dry leaves.


Just Being plain lazy - in Froggy Land


Mr. Show-off - croaking the love song 

Mr. Happy, with an ear-to-ear smile for the Peeping Toms

 And as I sat cleaning his sandals of wet mud and wiping slush off his tiny legs, the inevitable happened. That which catches us small-towners by surprise, or every time it rains. Nostalgia! We get transported to those carefree hamlets we have left behind to get on with our lives in condominiums, corner offices and coffee shops. And I to those days full of gay abandon from my childhood, in Dehradun, when rain was not weather but an occasion. When the older children danced in the downpour and the younger ones tried to too, albeit in rain coats. Where we sailed down Rajpur Road in paper boats and soared high in the wind with plastic bags attached to strings. Where exposed ends of pants flapped on scooters like excited flags getting wet and shared auto rickshaws for 6 charitably carried 12, umbrellas included. Puddles and leaking bus stops, getting late for work or soaked socks never dampened the spirit, a spirit that only had one thing to say at the end of a very wet day – Some chai and pakoras, what say? 

Every city has a face, and every city has a face for a rainy day. And like they say, every frog has his day too. And today was mine – on Heaven No 7 and Cloud No 9, when it rained and rained frogs!

11 comments:

  1. I'm sure the rains prompted you to post this.
    But, Kya yaad dila dia, Sakshi?
    This is one of your first posts that I'd read! :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, they did. :D
      Is it? So we met around this time then. Hm.

      Delete
  2. Reading this blog with rains and a cup of ginger tea....I went back to my college days when the chhapaak chhapaak would take my excitement to another level! Lovely!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Shaivi. Tea? I really thought you will be saying 'cheers!' over something else entirely. :D Many congrats for the win! And thank you for reading this.

      Delete
  3. The weather is beautiful outside :) More than anything it makes the air clean ;)

    ReplyDelete
  4. Enjoyed this nostalgia-filled rain-wali post! Having lived the first 26 years of my life in Delhi, I always looked forward to the rains there. Even now when I visit there, I am happy when it rains simply because otherwise who would wash away all that dust and grime from those trees and that beautiful foliage of Delhi streets :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh I agree with you totally. Nothing like a rain washed Delhi. Actually, it is quite a green city. The grime keeps that hidden. Thank you for reading, Beloo.

      Delete
  5. Your pen can make everything magically beautiful, even frogs.
    As refreshing as weather right now.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much, Alka. Frogs can be really putting-off for some. Poor things haven't been blessed with The Looks. I am glad you liked this.

      Delete
  6. It is too hot outside when reading this post but I am assuming that I am sitting under the rain and having a cup of hot tea. This is the way a good writer should write their posts as you did.

    Thanks for sharing this wonderful post.

    http://goo.gl/4wgFzC

    ReplyDelete

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