Rain


Another day has ended. I am stretched out on the recliner, staring at nothing in particular. My kids are nowhere in sight, while my husband is still busy at work.

A cool breeze enters from the balcony door and teases tendrils of hair onto my face. The sky is dark; dark grey clouds are hanging low. There is a deep rumbling of thunder from far away clouds that are at loggerheads with each other. Sparks fly and bright streaks of lightning illumine the firmament, now here, now gone. The rumbling goes on for sometime.

Finally, the clouds seem to have had enough. They let their emotions rain down on earth. Now, along with the breeze is the gentle sound of rain. Thin silver trains that can only be seen against the street lights. The falling rain is soothing. The clouds are spent. They are done with their day. The earth guzzles this welcome treat. The orchids on my balcony are nodding in merriment. The odd plop of a loud drop can be heard on and off.

Photo by Ilias Tsoutsoulis from Pexels

The rain’s music continues. There is the occasional rumble from high above, but down below all is well. The night has arrived with the rain, rejuvenating the earth, in a timeless dance that will repeat even we are all gone.

The magic of rain can never be explained, it can only be experienced. Whether it is the lashing Indian monsoon or a gentle evening drizzle or a continuous downpour at night, rain is love, rain is nostalgia, rain is hot coffee with samosas, rain is poignancy, rain is coziness, rain is music, rain is magic.

Tropizens 


I keep reading blogs that talk about Spring; and am reminded of the animated movie Bambi, where all the animals in the jungle celebrate Spring by breaking into a song-dance routine. Spring – when flowers bloom, when butterflies flutter, and when there is green everywhere!

Sigh! I can only read or watch movies about Spring. Living in the tropics as I do, the word ‘seasons’ is only useful when teaching my kids about seasonal changes in other parts of the world.

Where we live we have only three ‘seasons’ – warm, very warm and unbearably warm.

Our bodies are conditioned to easily handle temperatures of 33 deg and above.  We are used to thunderstorms and rainfall almost every day.

I am a Tropizen – a citizen of the tropics. Why am I saying this? This is because, like any other group of people, Tropizens exhibit certain behaviour patterns.

Take for example our handling of cold weather. Tropizens grow brrrrrrr…if the aircon temperature is set at anything below 24 deg. We feel cold in airports.

Imagine this – our family of Tropizens went on a trip to New Zealand a few years ago. It was in December, which is summer time in New Zealand. The internet told us that the temperature would be between 18 to 20 degrees during the day and around 12 deg at night. Rattlleeeee….!

For a Tropizen, that is winter..Brrrrr. We stocked up on caps, scarves, mufflers, gloves and thermals.

Picture courtesy – Cartoonstock.com
When we landed in Christchurch after our long flight, the fresh air seemed invigorating, initially. However, in a few hours we were wrapped up in our wollens.

As it was our first day, we decided to take a walk around the neighbourhood. The locals were enjoying their summer in cotton clothes, and were probably shocked to see eight people walking down the road, covered from head to toe in warm clothes.  They must have wondered if we were headed to some camp in the Antarctic.

Most restaurants had their tables set outside. People enjoyed tall glasses of drinks, with ice cubes tinkling in them. The thought of ice cubes made us chatter. We wanted hot coffee!

We were probably the only few people who asked to be seated indoors.

But at home, in the tropics,  we can survive the heat and humidity without batting an eyelid. We can guzzle big buckets of cold juice…with clinking ice cubes! We can take on lightning and thunderstorms, and anything else.

For us, comfort starts at 33 deg!

When the weather plays truant


In the tropics, there are three fixtures in a person’s life – humidity, heat and umbrellas. And if one is not prepared, more often than not, the weather can catch you unawares.

I was readying myself this afternoon to leave for a meeting. The sky grew dark in a matter of minutes, and it started raining heavily. I had no choice but to brave the rain, all the time praying that I could get a cab to get me to the meeting on time.

I carried a huge black umbrella, and walked at a fast pace. The rain, however, was lashing away, and I was completely drenched below the knee. Fortunately, a cabbie stopped for me, and I was on my way.

image

Courtesy – http://www.123rf.com

The cab’s aircon caused my teeth to chatter. About midway, the cabbie and I realized that the rain had stopped; in fact the sun was blazing away. We laughed about it.

When I reached my destination, the pavements were dry, and it was as hot as ever.

And imagine this. I got down from the taxi and walked into a meeting, fully drenched below the knee. I was wearing a light coloured trouser, so the contrast between the colours above and below my knee was quite obvious.

One of the people I was to meet joined me at the reception desk, and found it hard to believe that it was raining so heavily in another part of town. Even I had problems believing it!

I looked like I had waded across a pool or something to get there.

And believe me, I was so thankful to be seated! Hmmm…

What’s in a Nose?


Books talk about aquiline noses, Greek noses, up-turned noses, and 11 other types of noses, but have you heard of a rain-predictor nose?

That’s a first, I’m sure.

This fact would have been a great surprise to me too, but for the fact that the said nose belongs to yours truly.

The realization that one possesses talent for art, music and dance is great,

But what does one do with such a skill; where one’s nose can predict, often quite accurately, when it’s going to rain!

I realized this after careful observation. Over the last couple of years I’ve noticed that whenever I’ve been in humid weather or in any coastal town or city, my nostrils get mildly blocked.

However, on certain days the block is complete. I’ve always observed that on such days, there is definitely a heavy downpour later in the day. As the rain abates, my block usually clears up. Strange, but true.

While no meterology department is looking to hire me for sure, I love to surprise guests and family members with my predictions, which are quite accurate.

When my husband’s parents visited us last year, my father in law always checked with me before stepping out.

Somedays we would wait to see if my prediction came true…and as we sat down for our afternoon coffee, the rain usual fell in torrents and we laughed at this strange rain-predictor that’s my nose.