In Kyiv i would celebrate summer fall – indulging in freshly harvested fruits, breathing in morning coolness, sipping the hottest coffee from paper cup picked up on the way to subway. In India i celebrate last days of the monsoon.
The rhythm of the rain is nocturnal, drumming heavily on the office roof top, tapering to drizzle in between. Pausing and then clearing. Grand beats of Ganapathi Visarjan processions are heard from afar. I enjoy this feeling of the monsoon almost over, foretasting sunny days and more Indian festivals to follow.
I still remember my first monsoon five years back. Once i woke up into evenly grey cloudy day, surrounding contrasts diminished, the air was humid. Rain almost never stopped. In the morning after a night of downpours, it would still drizzle. The breeze was too damp to wander outside.
Monsoon brought relief from the heat of Indian summer. Early on i figured my best outfit for the season – bright yellow Eurocup jacket from Ukraine, turquoise crocs and off course, red umbrella. This minimized chances to walk in the rain unnoticed. My initial excitement diminished once I’ve discovered the other side of monsoon, – laundry was taking ages to dry, spices became soggy, the leather of my Kolhapuri chappals was spoilt. The more it rained, – the more power cuts happened, water supply became irregular. I would come home after office, mop the floor and prepare a meal in candle lit two bedroom apartment I rented myself. Darkness of those rainy nights felt overpowering, suffocating even. I faced my loneliness as never before.
I was not alone anymore to meet this years’ monsoon showers, which finally hit Pune in the beginning of August. Now it’s me and Mr. Sharma. It felt like what June was expected to, – dam overflowing, endless traffic lines filling flooded streets. Fifteen minutes distance to parents place would easily take us an hour on some days. By the time we reach, – discussing news, postponed calls and plans for the next day would be done.
Once on the way I was staring outside into showery evening. Windshield wipers of our idling car were pumping back and forth. Motorcyclists in raincoats churned ankle-level muddy waters, trying to squeeze in between the cars and rickshaws climbing uphill at Chandani Chawk. Trailing behind white bedraggled Maruti Swift, we noticed its’ right brake light was full of water. When Polo rolled back and bumped into it, driver got down to check the damage, holding the traffic even more. It felt like Monsoon Bollywood movie happening live in suburbs of Pune, and finally, after so many years, i sheerly enjoy being a part of it.