AB ’07 writes beautifully about the monsoons in India.

The monsoon clouds are identifiable since they are a good bit blacker than any others. They carry sea rain. And you can see this bank of cloud, stretching thousands of miles across the length and breadth of India and now moving rapidly towards you. And then the wind picks up (as it is just now) and the temp plummets. Then people come out of their houses and sit in their verandas. Leaves are kicked up and the birds fall silent.

Everyone knows whats going on and everyone is waiting. Then the thunder and lightning begin. And that’s when the smiling starts. And this is loud thunder — worse than anything heard in willytown. And then the thing to do is to go to a place where there is soil. Any garden, park whatever. And it starts raining.

And it doesn’t start slowly and it doesn’t creep up on you. It’s the definition of a cloudburst. Within seconds you are drenched. But you have time to see the first drops hit the ground. And its like hundreds and thousands of tiny little dark stars that form on the groundone second and then disappear, only to be replaced by more and more and more, till there are no more stars on the white earth but only a brown firmament. Then the monsoon get own to the arduous ask of throughly soaking the city, recharging both the aquifers and my hope in life.

Oh and the smell — its the most heavenly thing in the world. Its sweet and salty and erotic and fresh and renewing and fertile and pleasing and full of all the goodness of life. It’s the smell of the earth drinking — and its intoxicating. And it only lasts for a few hours — only the first few hours of the monsoon. But it is the most heavenly thing you can experience. And suddenly, everything is green, and everyone is happy (except motorists) and everything is alive and people are dancing in the rain. Life begins anew. The monsoons are back. The wind picks up my laughter — it floats over the city and rains down to get washed away again with the detritus of a city starved.

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