In the days prior to the advent of the Monsoon, people begin talking about the heat and humidity that peaks right before the rain begins. It is only pleasant, never. The heat is persistent all day and night long. At 7am it feels like the afternoon and by afternoon it feels like you’re sitting in a souped up stereophonic oven that only pipes in traffic noise. This year, the rains have stalled somewhere outside of Kerala, and are expected to come three days late. It’s a wonder how this can be predicted so precisely, though I’m certain it’s akin to taking a gander at a Weather Doppler and just playing spot the Monsoon? The cause for the stalled rain is Laila the cyclone which was in the Bay of Bengal, just near Tamil Nadu. (Cyclone is southeast Asian for hurricane, mmm hurricanes)
My maid started talking about the impending rain in April, she comes in at 8:30 in the morning and in in the middle of rolling the chapatti dough, she said to me, “Doesn’t it feel like it’s going to rain?” And I nodded in ascension, a little puzzled because the heat felt the same to me, all that was different was the haze that graced the city, it seemed thicker, a permanent smoke film filter that increases and decreases depending upon the season. That’s really the only way to tell the seasons apart, the ebb and flow of the smoky haze.
Then some time during the Month of may everyone slowly begins looking skyward at the expanse of blue. No clouds, how is it going to rain this early? Nitin said to me, there’s no way the rain will start before June. Still, hopeful clouds began gaining momentum. The cloud cover began in gusto just last week with a few morning clouds clustered above Powai. Every day these were quickly eviscerated by the strong near equatorial sun. And then I woke up this past Saturday to thick and looming grey clouds that I scrambled to take a photo of (there! Posted to Instagram!). But wait! There was rain, it was only a light drizzle, they call this kind of rain rim jhim….the little drizzle lasted a few minutes.
Now I’ve turned into one of the hapless Bombayites who looks up from eating mangoes (because it’s mango season! but not really because I’m not that crazy about mangoes) and looks on at the ever darkening and gathering clouds and thinks to herself, it looks like rain. And I say to N, do you think the rains will come early this year? And I chat with my maid and we talk about the rain. And you know what? It feels like rain I think. I hope I get to be here for that first shower before we jet off to New Jersey, where it still feels like early spring. I am suddenly a wee worried. We have no warm clothes, what if it’s cold in the States…going from this HEAT! to an early summer chill, will feel like a Bombay winter all over again!