I treasure weekends! They help me revive, recharge and do nothing much and laze around – well, just be myself. I love being at home; cooking food that I love; staying in touch with loved ones back in India over the web; reading books; listening to music; spending time on Sudoku & crosswords; going for walks in the morning and finally do some bit of planning for the week ahead. This weekend was especially welcome as I would be having an extended weekend due to holidays for the UAE National Day celebrations on 2nd and 3rd December.
Holidays, therefore, bring a sparkle to my eyes; a warm broad smile to my lips; an energetic spring to my steps and a relaxed laziness to my demeanour.
So, today I woke up by 6 am and by 6.45 went out for a walk. The sky seemed cloudy and it was very pleasant. After my walk, on my return I hopped into a supermarket and when I came out, there was a superfine drizzle. I had the choice of going by cab… but the smell of the earth was so tempting that I trashed the idea. I would walk in the rain and smell the earth… a rather unusual luxury in this part of the globe. It was a good 15 minute walk and I had a couple of carry bags. But all that did not deter me. As I was almost reaching home, a car stopped by, the man at the wheel lowered the glass and very courteously asked me if he could give me a lift! I thanked him and shook my head – the car sped along. I was truly happy to see the goodness in people.
Once I came home, I plunged in to cooking breakfast and lunch. Made delicious Tomato Pachadi (a typical Kerala dish with coconut & yoghurt), bitter gourd fry, Keera (a kind of Spinach) thoran (a dry dish seasoned often with grated coconut) to go with rice. By then it was 10.30 am. As I walked into the living room, my eyes riveted at an unusual sight well beyond my balcony – steady rainfall! Excitement got the better of me. I quickly changed my home clothes, and went down, without an umbrella. Yes, it was raining quite heavily. I walked into the rain. The sight of happy umbrella clad children wading through the waters and jumping into poodles met my eye. In fact, some fathers and mothers had brought them out to experience the rain. Adults on the other hand found shelter and walked along sun shades to escape the rain. I even espied a father clicking the picture of a girl playing in the rain. I walked along, taking care not to walk along the sun shade – I wanted to feel the rain on me!
The way back was even more enjoyable. The rain was was getting heavier and falling on my face. Every person that I met had a twinkle in their eye – either because they too were enjoying the rain like me or because they found my walking in the rain quite amusing! By the time I cam back to my building I was quite wet. I entered the lift and looked at myself in the mirror. Lo! I had worn my kurta inside out!!! However, this did not perturb me one bit. I told myself, it is not as if you walked around in the nude, Asha. So it is okay! The whole experience was so refreshing even as it brought out once again the child in me.
(On my return home, later in the day I wanted to find out what gives this heady fragrance to the Earth when the first drops of water fall on it. Did you know that some kinds of Actinobacteria are responsible for the intoxicating odour emanating from the earth when the first drops of rain fall in places that normally have warm climate? Or that the scent of rain on dry earth is called, Petrichor? Or that the word has Greek origin? ‘Petra’ in Greek means stone and ‘ichor’ is the fluid that courses along the veins of Greek Gods? Or that the chemical that causes this odour is called Geosmin? Everything truly embeds some kind of learning!)
Gathering clouds – the view from the 15th floor balcony of my home, today evening
The whole day was a rainy one. By evening the sky had black clouds and there were strong showers too. This time it was accompanied by Nature’s fanfare. Yes, the clamour of thunder and the flashes of lightning heightened my rain experience – of the rain-starved- average-Indian expat… and that too from Kerala where the Monsoon really weaves its magic and spell binds the rain lover!