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The south west monsoon, the much-awaited ‘manna’ from the heavens is expected to hit the Indian peninsula some time in the first week of June this year.

Or so the weather man says!

Now weatherman in this part of the world is usually very good at “predicting” what the weather was yesterday, and that too with clock-like accuracy! However when it comes to tomorrow’s fare, he is embarrased and looks the other way because he usually fails miserably in his prections . In fact he has generally very little faith in his own prediction… so much so , the guy starts off for his office in the morning with out even a toy umbrella!

Time was when, as a small boy, I used wait eagerly for the arrival of the monsoon rains plumb on the 1st of June, year after year! The schools used to re-open after the summer vacation on June 1st in those days and the down pour would come calling on the dot, full of deresion and just to hound us kids.

I like rains, per se , especially the sound of rain drops drumming on the roofs and the water caressing the leaves in the trees around our house! I also love the ball-shattering noise of the thunder that would break out unexpectedly as though some joker had stuck a red hot iron up its ass without notice ! The bull frogs are overjoyed at the opportunity of getting their annual quota of sex! They make merry and sing long and drawn out lullabies through out the night which would make even an elephant go into “sleep mode”……..

I love to hear all that , as long as I remained indoors. Now schools being schools, there is no getting away with absenteeism especially on the first day because that was when your fate will made known! That is to say, whether you go up to your next higher class or dig in where you are sitting to ensure that the new comers from the lower class don’t usurp your seat! ( making the best of a bad bargain!) So, out I must go to attend the classes, into the lashing rains, juggling a bundle of text books, a half-broken umbrella with some of its ribs askew – which my dad should have replaced years ago-, and a tiffin box … all without a carry bag because in those days the school bags were unknown!

By the time I reach my school and find my way to my new class ( I always got the promotion without fail every year which surprised me as much as it surprised my daddy’o! ), I would be drenched to the skin … and late! So I have to stand outside the class room for the rest of that period in those wet and sticky clothes as a punishment for reporting late.

The rains would stop around noon time to allow the kids to return home for lunch ! But that is just an eye wash because the monsoon god and the weatherman are both out to get us for sure! So as soon as we step out of the school’s compound into the road the rains will start an encore with renewed vigour . And they invariably will last till I reach home.

After lunch I would spend a few minutes horsing around with the siblings in the drizzle , including running through puddles of water and splashing it all over mother’s freshly washed linen ( and in the process getting clubbed on the head ) And it is time now to walk back to the school but the rains would be lurking patiently around the corner with a club hidden behind its back ! It clobbers me once again all over my fresh shirt, taking some sort of sadistic pleasure while doing it!! It will then accompany me to the school like Mary’s lamb and by the time I reach my class I am once again bone-drenched.

It is 4pm.. the school peon rings the bell which is fashioned out of a piece of steel rail someone had pinched from the nearby railway yard aeons ago and the schooling time is over. We all burst out of our classes like shrieking banshees ,  carrying a close resemblance to a cluster of  of bats going out for their nightly forage! We head for the gates, only to be engulfed once again by some more heavy showers which turn up as on cue from god knows where and exactly on time.

By the time I reach home, I am …er…well, you guessed it right, drenched to the skin!

But what with global warming , deforestation , pollution, ozone holes, and a number of other climatic ills, my monsoon no longer ambles in around june 1st every year. Having said that reports trickle in regularly about sighting it wandering rather listlessly in the distant land of timbuktoo, with belly bereft of any rain water… But I wait patiently for my truant friend, the south west monsoon to show up , because without it this time my grand kids can’t go to their school in June !

mon-son

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