Wednesday, June 25, 2008


This was when I was young and free of cares. It was 1980, I think. Long caftans were in fashion, at least in downmarket Barrackpore. I had a black-and-yellow patterned one, and I was very proud of my tiger-outfit. Like any other seven-year-old.

There was a khelar math (playground) near our house, used for football in summers, cricket in winters (this was way before the 24x7x365 cricket blitz), and for swimming in monsoon.

Or so we thought. A few days of heavy rain had submerged the green grass completely with only a few ‘islands’ poking out here and there. Tadpoles were swimming invitingly in the shallow ‘sea’. A few of us adventurous souls went chasing these ‘sea-monsters’, splashing about merrily…first with our kaftans (and what-not) lifted above our knees, and then, abandoning all pretense and caution, rushing headlong into the muddy water.

It was bliss to get so thoughtlessly wet, and great fun to splash the timid ones. If we jumped energetically, we could make waves in the water. We island-hopped gaily, wringing our dresses dry before plunging back into the water once more.

Full of glee and wet to the gills, I never noticed my mother till I felt the sharp sting as she literally pulled me by the ear and dragged miscreant-me off the danger zone. I was hauled back home, and was made to sit with my chilly feet immersed in a tub full of hot water and my chastised ears buzzing with pain and scolding, my bedraggled kaftan hanging on the clothesline. It never regained its original bright-yellowiness, remaining muddied with memory of my tadpole-in-tiger-disguise ‘misadventure’.



ugich konitari said...

You talk about being 7 years old in 1980. Thinking back, I was 31, and my son was just turning one year old and probably facing his first Mumbai monsoon. I just wondered, we take things so much for granted, but do we think what a child must be going through/thinking at that age, when safely sitting in someones lap, or being carried by someone, the skies suddenly open up, and water just starts drizzling down.All for the very first first time in his/her life .... I'd love to be able to look inside a baby's mind at that point...

sukku said...

Hi to both of you,

I can still remember vividly during my childhood, maybe 8 or 9 years old then, we had a football field behind our house and I loved playing football after the rain, I was the goalkeeper and I enjoyed playing with the mud. We never played during the rain because of lighting and thunders but we enjoyed it after a heavy downpour but my days were shortlived as my mum stopped me from that as I know how difficult it was for her to wash the clothes soaked in mud. But it was fun while it lasted.

lopamudra said...

When I was 7 or 8 I remember one such rainy adventure.My mode of transportation to & from school was a designated rickshaw.There were four of girl from my school & two boys from adjacent boys' school who came by the same rickshaw everyday.After school was over we were gleefully getting drenched in the blinding downpour(our school bags were kept in the dry)jumping up & down on the water puddles!!Our joy was shortlived as the rickshawpuller(we used to call him Akbar chacha) showed up and he reprimanded us for our behaviour.When we refused to pay heed to him he literally bribed us with popscicle to get back to the rickshaw.

Lazyani said...

You know already about my anecdotes and we have already had an interaction on the same.
However, I actually immediately could visualise a 7 year old frollicking in muddy knee deep water.

Anonymous said...

Rains are indeed nostalgic for everyone of bring a unique ecstasy and joy to our heart with music brimming in our minds...I can also more remember about the childhood & have similar experiences like was some of the golden moments of our life & we miss those these days very much...swimming during the rains, take us on a nostalgic walk...In my childhood days I used to get drenched completely in the first rains of the season atleast once...nice reading!

Jaquanda Rae said...

Wow, thanks for your comments on Jukebox,they are something else!

Rain. I loved walking in the rain in the earlier part of high school. I remember some really heavy rains when I was around 12 and walking up and down the schoolyard in my full uniform, laughing and clowning around. I never got sick.

I also remember bits of Hurricane Gilbert in around 88 or 89. Parts of trees outside the glass windows were flying through the air, as well as zinc roofs. We had a gypsum ceiling and some of the "tiles" came down. After the hurricane passed, we went over to the neighbours and ate a lot of canned food for a long period.

sukku said...


I would like to inform you that you have been tagged by me today and the link is

Thank you and have a good day

White Rose said...

I remember my mom sitting with us kids on the back porch as thunderstorms would roll in. she loved the rain and so do I.

Also one of my favorite poems came to mind when I read this. I thought I would share:

Rainy Night

Ghosts of all my lovely sins,
Who attend too well my pillow,
Gay the wanton rain begins;
Hide the limp and tearful willow.

Turn aside your eyes and ears,
Trail away your robes of sorrow,
You shall have my further years-
You shall walk with me tomorrow.

I am sister to the rain;
Fey and sudden and unholy,
Petulant at the windowpane,
Quickly lost, remembered slowly.

I have lived with shades, a shade;
I am hung with graveyard flowers.
Let me be tonight arrayed
In the silver of the showers.

Every fragile thing shall rust;
When another April passes
I may be a furry dust,
Sifting through the brittle grasses.

All sweet sins shall be forgot;
Who will live to tell their siring?
Hear me now, nor let me rot
Wistful still, and still aspiring.

Ghosts of dear temptations, heed;
I am frail, be you forgiving.
See you not that I have need
To be living with the living?

Sail, tonight, the Styx's breast;
Glide among the dim processions
Of the exquisite unblest,
Spirits of my shared transgressions,

Roam with young Persephone.
Plucking poppies for your slumber . . .
With the morrow, there shall be
One more wraith among your number.

Dorothy Parker

peace and light


Sucharita Sarkar said...

Thanks, everybody, for raining memories on this blog! And a special thanks for that wonderful poem!