There are some things in life, which though we experience almost every day, still stirs up an indescribable something in us.
On my morning walks, I take in a flyover, which spans two lagoons with a railway line in between. Often I see from afar a train negotiating a bend in the line through the coconut palms on either side, like a long centipede through the grass. And every time I stop and watch the train from the flyover until it passes under me; and so do many others.
There are many similar things in life, which though we have witnessed a thousand times still comes as a new experience- a glorious sunrise, the rolling waves, a moonlit night, the stateliness of an elephant, the magnificence of a thoroughbred, the love of a dog – these are just a few of them.And it is one such thing, that brings all the aforesaid beauty to Kerala- The Monsoons.
I have spent over forty of my fifty odd years of life in Kerala and I have not had enough of the Monsoons- not till date.
It is the Monsoons that make Kerala so green and beautiful. Had it not been for the Monsoons, Kerala’s would have been a different fate altogether. There are two Monsoons that nurture Kerala- the South West Monsoon from the Indian Ocean and the North East Monsoon from the Bay of Bengal.
The South West Monsoon sets in, in the first week of June and it pours- sometimes for days on end-until August. And after a month of rain, the ponds and puddles, fields and low grounds fill up with water. And water gushes and rushes through every waterway- large and small.
And when the South West Monsoon is done, The North East Monsoon sets in, towards October- November with lightning and thunder. The North East Monsoon normally puts on its show at dusk or at night.. Streaks of lightning, rend the dark sky, rains fall in sudden showers, and then it rolls and it growls, it rumbles and grumbles and trembles and then it bursts in on you in deafening thunder. Your clothes and your hair bristle with the static electricity in the atmosphere.
The Monsoon is also the time for love. The sky showers all its love on the waiting earth below and the earth blushes all over in a riot of colors.
It is also love time for the hibernating frogs. With the first rain waters, reaching their dry mud holes, they spring to life in a deafening chorus, croaking out their love to their mates and putting on a show for them, with their colorful throat glands ballooning in and out. And they make love all over- in the pools and in the puddles, in the green grass and in the lush undergrowth. The females then lay their eggs and then both male and female go back to their hibernation and wait and pray for the next Monsoon.
The Monsoon is also love-time for the white ants, holed up and hidden deep under the earth. With the waters reaching down to them or on some other cue, these white ants sprout wings to fly into the air and mate and lay their eggs and then perish or fall prey to the birds.
It is also love-time for the glow worms, which lighten up the dark, rainy nights, beaming their love to their mates. They turn on and off in unison and the night lights up one second and blanks out the next.
And a holiday in Kerala during the monsoon can be love-time for you too. Cuddle up on your bed and listen to the rain roaring in the trees, rustling in the leaves, drumming on the roof and pouring off the eaves. Or cozy up under the awning of a houseboat,out on the vast expanse of a lagoon and watch the huge drops of rain fall on the still surface and splatter.
A vacation in Kerala during one of the Monsoons will excite you and mesmerize you and carry you back in time to that primordial self in you. I have had this inexplicable feeling in me a thousand times from a thousand rains. And the monsoons- they still excite me time and time every year
And I can guarantee you that a tour of Kerala during the monsoon downpurs will excite you and stir you up, as it has stirred me up a thousand times, year after year after year, as it has stirred up those frogs for a million years from the beginning of time.