Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Spring is in the Air!!

In India, especially in Kochi (where I grew up) and Mumbai (where I have worked most) there are essentially two seasons in a year - summer and monsoon... When the sweltering sun makes life muggy and your clothes stick to your skin, a collective prayer rises for relief...and by June or July, the monsoons stomp their way through India... My land, Kerala turns a very pretty shade of green in the monsoons...The rains bring with it lovely contrasts of green against the red soil that cool the eye....and there's this particular smell that rises from the parched earth when the first drops of rain re-seal the dry cracked surface of the earth... Catching the first drops of rain remains a fascination for me...though I must confess, the mad Mumbaikars take this craze to a totally different level... From being soaked in your sweat to standing drenched to the bone in the monsoons, sipping chai or biting into corn cobs, liberally sprinkled with lime and masalas...those were my seasons, those were what I looked forward to... I came to Brighton in autumn and immediately decided this was the prettiest season...Many warned me about spring stealing autumn's thunder...I refused to budge....But after braving a rather harsh Winter and the unprecedented snow it brought along for the visit this time, this sight that greeted me earlier this week brought a smile on.... The Sun shines more these days, that's not to say that Winter is ready to give way so easily....the nights are still brrrrr- cold and in the morning, the grass seems frosty white....but these bulbs daring the winter chill tell me its Spring Time...Beware: The Sun is deceptive, if you leave your sweaters behind at home, miscalculating the meagre warmth on a bright sunny day, then you can cuss yourself blue as you walk back frozen to the bone...But then after the bland wintry landscape, its time for a riot of colours... In the time span when India's coastal climate progressed from relatively mild to warm to hot and muggy weather, I moved from autumn to winter to spring....Now I know my seasons...They aren't just what was taught in Geography classes and understood by internalising Byron and Keats' description...Now I have my sights and my words to share...There's a spring in my step too these days as I head for the final classes of this term, and Spring is in the Air!!! ( P.S The pretty pictures of rain in Kerala: Courtesy my brother Anand's wonderful eye for photography. Prettier pictures of English Spring shall follow..These ones are to just herald the arrival of Spring!!! )


  1. As refreshing as the very first drops of rain on the parched earth. I envy your escapades in the land of 'Byron and Keats'.

  2. Kerala is my land too and my holidays there are my most treasured memories...the sound of rain on the tiles and in the coconut palms is the best lullaby...aankanam used to be so much fun during the first rains: paper boats and huge black grandfather umbrellas
    loved this me all nostalgic

  3. Escapades in the land of Byron and Keats is indeed refreshing...;) I think more than anything for me it a fresh perspective that helps you see what are the ties that moor you to India...

    And Nalini: I had that nearly figured from your thalassery pictures...and thank you for mentioning the umbrellas or 'kalan kodas' as they were did I forget that they are synonymous with the monsoons in Kerala...But those black kodas I think have now given way for the colours of Poppy and St.Johns...

  4. nice new look to your blog ... and at the risk of repeating myself..... you paint a very good picture with words... :-)...

  5. Nids: Welcome back to the land of my blogs and rants and ravings..:)

  6. I believe every place you live in, and I have lived in one too many, has to become Nellore holds me in it's charm

    but my heart beats faster in Kerala...maybe it's the memories...the chakka varatiyadu and matthi fry...the chenda and the kathakali in wee of the night...the rain drenched fields and the raindrops from the shrubs that drench you long after the rains...aaaahhh

  7. Spring is late this year and it's still bloomin' freezing! Normally, at this time of year all the daffodils would be out but there are hardly any about.

    Defined seasons are one of the things I miss in India and I've always thought it a little strange that you can have Pongal (harvest festival) in January, and then summer three months later.

    Like so much else, the seasons turn on their head in India, which is again I suppose, another charm of the country. Generally though, I like to think of the seasons in India as this: scorchio, scorchio, scorchio and scorchio (with a little rain and slightly lower temperatures thrown in now and again.

  8. My dear Deepthy,

    I am happy to have you back at what you do best: describe what you see and feel.

    Spring is the best time of the year in England and enjoy it as much as you can while the sun lasts: especially the small flowers and the warbling birds; the smaller the better.

    And study!!! Spring is the coolest time to take a book out to Nature, sit in a park and read till the light fails.

    Peace and love,
    - Joe.

  9. You could go on and on about the first touch of the monsoons in good ol' Kerala. The sounds, which is like no other I've heard in any rainy days in any city I've been, the earthy fragrance that could wake u up with a half-sleepy smile...and the winds and the chill. It's a beauty like none other. But's way too far away and for now it's the Beast among the seasons that's taken over ad showing its power. The sun's out to prove a point, the winds/breeze are on a strike, the sweat glands r working over time...It's one sticky, scorching Summer that's come way too early and hints at staying a tad too late.
    Enjoy your Springs, Winters, Autumns...while it lasts...For the best in Summers, you do come down here.