Monsoon (A)Musings

It always begins with the wait. The long, drab tedious summer months create the perfect setting for welcoming the change that rains get with it! With the signs being there and the time being right, the yearning almost proliferates, and lo! When the clouds bless us with wonderful monsoon showers, the entire creation dances with joy! In no time, there is a dash of sinfully yummy bhajiyas in the air, social media is flooded with chai pictures and lazy posts, and it’s almost like an undeclared holiday!

Everyone starts planning weekend getaways, hiking trips, and rain parties – and for some – even long baths (considering the water shortage heretofore). Meh. People wish to take time out for reading/writing, painting, meditating, playing the guitar, or basically anything they like but never find time to do (weird, right?). But in any case, the difference in the surrounding is uncanny, and all of it is an expression of respite, of joy and life becomes a celebration.

For one week.

2013-07-01-Dear-Korea-#091Just before one realizes that the road to the hike is a hike by itself – probably a more painful one. The streets, or rather gutters masquerading as them, are 80%potholes, 10% smaller potholes and 10% dug by the government probably before I was even born. Just about perfect for a great body massage every time you step out. It’s cute when children think potholes were nothing but dried lakes and start floating paper-boats on them.

To add to the aggravation, there is a new bunch of 13-year olds joining social media every-year, with their enthusiastic not-so-new posts. And alas, all of them are either my family, or friends, or friends of family, or family of friends, or friends of family friends- and likes- and make it to my list. One of the most popular (read: repeated) monsoon posts is-

“I love walking in the rain, coz no one knows I am crying.”

Aww. I almost cried – out of its out-datedness. A lot of people read this, get emotional, and use every dramatic bone in their body – and try and live it. 12-year olds do this for failing that test, 15-year olds do this for failing to get that girl (and 10 others), and 22-year olds do this for not finding enough pikachus’. Well, that’s life. But, I can talk for all girls. We never cry in the rain, and exactly for the same reason. If no one can see our tears, then what’s the point? *Dumbfound*

Another of the experiences I look forward to during monsoons is – no electricity! It instantly hits nostalgia. I mean isn’t it great to know and experience how our ancestors in the stone-age lived- you know, in the dark and all. But it’s great if it is for as much time as a simulator. A little more than that and the MSEB is taking it too far!

From romantic to frantic, from celebration to frustration, from a blessing to stress-ing, monsoon pushes every freaking button of us that there is to push, until a hidden Parsi aunty (yeah, there is one in all of us) from within us yells –

“WILL SOMEONE UP THERE PLEASE SHUT THE EFFING TAP? “

HOLY HAI!

What? Bible or Quran?

For once can we not be so feeble in our thoughts. How can anything that claims to unite, but only has proved to be a reason to divide time and again, be termed Holy?challenge

I was only talking about Water.

And not really about the “holy” rivers of our country, just because – as the legend goes- some drops of Amrit fell in them a few centuries ago! But if that is what makes you save our rivers, so be it!

And you know what, I will tell you a secret that they will never tell you. Water, Air, Earth are holy not only on festivals or certain days but every day! Oh yes, every-single-day! Can you believe it? – Market mein naya hai, jaldi forward karo!

Why is it that in last few years, our hidden-environment-enthusiast pops up for the birds during Sankranti, water during Holi, Air and noise pollution during Diwali? Because, in olden times people used the resources judiciously and lived frugally every day and celebrated elaborately, whereas today, we live like we own the planet every day, and celebrate “judiciously”. True story.

We all know this week saw two of the most contradictory days “celebrated” one after the other. We all endorsed save water, and took an oath to do so on World Water Day. Oh, but how can we help it if it was so badly timed, only two days before Holi – and like any New Years’ resolution, even this one didn’t stick around even for 48 hours! All of us enjoyed Holi, and if anyone tried to remind us about our conscience around water scarcity, we coloured them saying – Bura na mano, Holi hai! Actually not all of us. Because some of us at Nashik are still awaiting our turn to play colours on Monday! Oh yes, there was a Raj Thackeray even in those days, who decided we won’t play colours on the same day as Biharis.

I for one am not a very enthusiastic endorser of “water-less Holi”. Firstly, if you play only with dry colours, it is going to take you all that water you were trying to save, to get that Chinese powder off your body! And secondly, I don’t have proper statistics right now, but I am sure by not playing Holi, we may consume not more than 5% more water than on a normal day – when we swim in our private swimming pool, followed by a relaxing tub bath, getting ready just in time to attend the rain shower party a friend’s small wedding function of only 1000 people! Phew. That’s such a tedious relaxation routine, that one may need to go to Dubai and book a villa next to the man-made beach as a relaxing holiday from this relaxation routine! Oh, did I mention all this wastage, oops usage, is only for relaxation?

The point is, let’s leave our hypocrisy at home on festivals, and adopt a sustainable lifestyle each day, every day. Our yesterday’s lesson – the planet is dying- is today’s reality! We don’t have any more time!

The well cannot get any drier.

The reality cannot strike any harder.

But alas, we aren’t growing any wiser!