I always read about how ‘it was a lovely, sunny day’ and ‘her smile was as sunny as a summer afternoon’ like sunny is somehow equal to happiness. I can see why people from temperate countries find the sun something to be happy about. Sometimes, as is the traditional Indian way, people from here like using the phrase too just because Westerners use it. I promise you, however, in India –especially for me– happiness is an overcast sky, lots of wind, and rain.
I have always found extreme heat more intolerable than extreme cold. I know some of my friends disagree, but especially after my time in Kota, me and my extremely photosensitive skin try and stay away from direct sunlight. You can imagine then, the monsoon season is an absolute godsend for me.
How could I not love it? Harsh, sweltering days where you can’t escape sweat even in the shower are replaced by bright grey mornings and windy afternoons. The usually brown and dry Sahyadri mountains (while beautiful even then) are transformed into a million shades of green that will take your breath away. The sky is dynamic, changing from clear to cloudy in seconds. A mild drizzle could change into a thunderous cloudburst in seconds, and it feels like it will never end but then vanishes instantly like it never happened.
Oh, and the food! Anyone who hasn’t had kanda bhaji and chai in the rain is missing something in life. Or bhutta with lemon and chilli, standing under an umbrella, bought from a gadi wala on the street corner.
I know, I know, I’m lucky that I live in a hostel five minutes away from my place of study and work. I don’t have to commute, and commuting in the monsoon is not fun because every train is always late. However, I counter with this- commuting in the summer is even less fun. You’re drenched in sweat till you reach your destination, and it’s not always just your own sweat. I will say no more.