Saturday, March 19, 2005

First Rain .. The smell of my country's lands

Let's go down Nostalgia Lane for a few minutes.

The roads were dusty back home when I was growing up. Bombay is very hot and humid. As children, we would play outside on the street. There was no respite from the heat except from June to September. That's the rainy season when it pours quite heavily and incessantly. But the best part was the arrival of the first rains right after summer when it was hot, humid and you really need respite. All of a sudden a water drop falls on your face. Then some more. Now you're rushing to open up an umbrella, if you were carrying one, or trying to seek shelter under the broken and leaky roof of a nearby store.

But something else distracts you. You notice there's this peculiar smell in the air. It's not food and it's not a man-made fragrance but it's very strong and you really like it. And then it hits you. The dust/dirt/mud on the ground soak up the fresh drops of water give out this damp fragrance of the "first rains" in return. Now you want to be outside a little bit longer just to enjoy it while it lasts. If you're home and the first rains come, you want to sit by the window and stare outside at the very same street that's been there for years. You see the same things you have been seeing everyday. People walking, cars going by, children playing and stray dogs. Yet the first rains make all these special. You notice a bit more carefully taking your own time to absorb each moment that nature's fragrance is making special for you. Each year, when the first rain showers come....the same monotony called "everyday life" seems colorful, appealing, soothing, comforting and definitely feels like home.

The strong scent of freshly moistened soil makes you want to get a really hot cup of tea and basically sit wherever you need to in order to enjoy this while it lasts. The downpour continues and slowly the scent diminishes. The land seems satisfied at the amount of water it has been given and moves on to other things. The exhileration is now passing but it was well worth it. The rains have always been special to me. They remind me of that playful boy who is now a grown man but still feels like jumping for joy whenever he detects that smell .... home or away from home.


Blogger book_worm said...

WOW!! That was some great writing. I read your blog and could almost smell the damp soil.

5:25 PM  

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