I was pretty tired and must have fallen into the tranquil comfort of sleep well before midnight. I was alone in that house in Cochin. My friend Sree and family left for Coiambatore leaving me in charge of the regularly unkempt house and the big Great Dane, Motti. Various matters as usual tired me, by late evening ,and the sleep was a welcome visitor.
I do not know when it began but I woke up at the sound of the music- drum beat and jingle of the rain. It was pouring and in torrents. I lie in bed and saw through the curtains on the window, the monsoon- by night- at its zestful best in Kerala. And I began enjoying its goodness after many years. Living in Tamilnad for the last twenty odd years had its deprivation. An incessant torrential downpour was one. The monsoon does not visit my part of Tamilnad as it does the total of Kerala.
Through the curtains, I could see the heavy rain drops by the hazy light on the street. They were slanted and nearly twisted by the wind. I lay there in bed in all the comfort and peace that only dreams could give. I travelled back years to relive certain days and nights as such during height of monsoon. There were nights when I used to lie cuddled under the sheet listening to the torrent outside and wishing that it pours and pours through day break and school could be done away with. Myriad stories from the times when I was little, the lore connected with rain and rainy days that I picked from the oldies then, went through my mind. It was browbeating rain outside. I seemed to hear every drop of the wonder out there.
I thought of the years that went by. And now into the later part of life, the sound of the rain still holds amazing sway over the mind. Like ones mother, Nature has her many ways to fan you and sooth, the music of rain was one such way. It was a lullaby from up above.
I thought of the book that I read long ago written by Alexander Frater, “Chasing the Monsoon”. It became a highly noted BBC film too. The book documented Fraters journey from Kovalam off Thiruvananthapuram with the arrival of the monsoon clouds. His visit to the men at the observatory in Thiruvannathapuram, and their crude ways of predicting the monsoon; his travel by boat from Quilon and following the downpour right through Kerala , into Goa and beyond till the north east.
I had the sudden urge to get out of the bed and walk in the rain. But the comfort and cosiness of the bed, the thin sheet spread over my torso, the cool pleasant air ,the flapping of the curtains at the persistent gentle howl of the wind, and the music outside touched me much that amongst the thoughts I fell back into sleep- I slept that night with “the monsoon”.