Thursday, June 10, 2010

this time around

... I was lucky to catch a week of the bright summer sun before the monsoons decided to blow our way. As is the case in Kerala, there were power cuts galore and we, cut away from the town and civilisation, were treated to a full night of black-out. Mom's candles flickered through the night attracting lots of insects because who could sleep with the windows closed in the oppressive humidity there.

The phone lines, and as a result of which the Internet, conked out with the very first thunderstorm. My toddler was feeling up to walks this time around and we did manage several rounds around the house, watched the cows being milked, looked for the pet turtle that didn't show up (unlike last year), picked flowers and watched the dragonflies buzz overhead on cloudy afternoons. Of course, two large tubes of odomos were completely squeezed out for the purpose of 'bite-free' walks.

I am a malayali and my parents live in Northern Kerala. But, no matter where you live in this state, you find coconut trees, baby coconuts and really old coconuts. Be careful walking under the coconut palms! Here is a humble attempt to beautify the crop.

And, then the rains came. And, not without drama. Thunder rumbled and lightning flashed for more than two hours before the dark clouds relented and the parched ground drank it all, enveloping us in the most pleasant smell and really good feelings - just to see the rain fall!

There always was a beautiful soundtrack surrounding us, only the rhythm of the raindrops changed. But, no change of pace deterred the children from splashing in the puddles or simply stand, face and palms upward to the skies, letting the drops soak them through. Did give me a case of the jitters thinking of the unhappiness that would follow if one of them caught a cold or fever, but all went well.

The mosquitoes lessened considerably, the kids were nicely settled in the routine there and we got lots of time to catch up with news of the family from mom and news of my friends and their families from me. Of course, mom missed the picture updates that happens when both of us sit for hours before the computer and she looks through pictures of my friends and their babies on orkut and facebook.

It was a neat break, though, a trip somewhere would have been nice. But, then, these were carefree days sans planning and itinerary, with a pace and cadence all of their own. The true essence of summer holidays - freedom and no set time for anything... oh! except probably for the daily power cut there :)


shilpa said...

Your parents place sounds like a lovely place. I love the last picture with that long path.

Susan Erickson said...

absolutely beautiful post. I love the smell of the ozone after the rain. It all looks so tropical...very different from my Canadian mountain home. Thank you for the journey....

asha said...

My my..such a lovely description. Feel like going home. You live in a nice green estate... just beautiful to have no one but the rubber and coconuts surrounding you! The children in the rain reminded me of my childhood were we were out in our petticoats building mud 'dams' to block the water from our yard etc
I always thought that monsoons were the best time to be in Kerala, specially if you were on a no-agenda holiday! Here in Bangalore, it never rains with that loud steady pitter-patter as it does there.

shilpa said...

thank you all so much!

shilpa - my mom hopes to have that whole path lined with heliconia, slowly but steadily :)

susan - bu, this state is a tropical paradise and a delight to the eye. it is also called "God's own country!" :)

asha - rains are different in mumbai, too, come to think of it! well, we used to swim in the Meenachil river, quite close to dad's home in petticoats - oh the horror :D

Shalini said...

Such an idyllic vacation. I really must visit Kerala in the rains sometime.

shilpa said...

yes Shalini, you must do that, but no fixed itinerary please... just to be and watch :)