Sep 28, 2023
Sep 28, 2023
by Monisha Sen
I watch my kids stick their tongues out to taste the rain, giggling and shrieking as wind and rain whip around them. I don't have the heart to call them into the shelter of my umbrella, and I hear an echo in my heart. A distant echo, when my brother and I ran out of the house one enforced rain holiday from school. My babies are just beginning to experience the monsoons, and I thought I could share my favorite season with them. What a difference being a parent makes.
It is their turn to learn the joys of standing in the showers, whether it is while going to school or in the playground. While wool gathering in the balcony, or rushing to stand by an open window before mom bangs it shuts. My role has been relegated to obsessing about every puddle they let into the house. Of correlating the number of changes of clothes with the number of showers in a day. Of stringing lines and drying clothes in every room, and putting up with the damp wet-clothes smells all day.
We bought them the bright umbrellas making splashes of color wherever you look these days. And raincoats. My daughter protested on having to carry and wear them. She says the drizzle still gets into collars, into her hair, so why bother. My son manages to get completely wet navigating every puddle he sees despite all the gear he has put on. I guess it's their turn to get wet on every occasion, mine to pointlessly nag about carrying extra clothes and socks to school.
They are learning to enjoy the gloom, the cold and the damp. And I again get this feeling of d'j' vu every morning as I try to wake the warm, cuddly bundles in time for school. I get this feeling my mother used the same lines that I hear myself holler.
They are getting used to not seeing the sun for days. Which means the playground is too damp to meet little buddies. I have learnt to stock up for my turn to hold impromptu tea parties, when the neighborhood kids splash in on 'rain holidays'.
Learning the delight of hopping into every puddle in sight. Of making mud-pies. Of walking on slushy grass. Of dangling an earthworm at the end of a stick. Of hot roasted 'bhuttas'. I have resigned myself to spending my evenings taking off the mud caked in shoes, pant cuffs, cycle tyres' ready for the next days' mauling.
It is their turn to play 'who can jump highest in the slush'. And my turn to worry (and nag) about conjunctivitis, jaundice, coughs and colds.
I watch my kids taste the rain. I think we'll bunk school tomorrow and go home, to my mum's house. And sail paper boats in the storm drains where my brother and I had played. Who knows, maybe grand mom will join us, like she used to'
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