June 13, 2008

Pre-Monsoon Showers in Chennai . . .

Does the rain affect you?
I am not asking if you catch a cold or sneeze incessantly when it rains.
Does the rain make you want to go to the local park and be with the trees and shrubs as they take on a special green?
Or stare out of your window and see the patterns it creates outside?
Last month, a colleague of mine and I were in a village called Rudrapatna which lies on the banks of the Cauvery in Karnataka.
We were there to cover a music celebration - the consecration of a temple that is in the shape of a tambura which has been dedicated to the leading composers of classical music.
The village has also been the home of many well known music artistes over many generations.
The fest brought in hundreds of people and for many of us, the traditional, tiled houses were our temporary hearths.
The pre-monsoon showers broke one afternoon as we took a nap and my colleague lost time in seizing our video-camera, hopping on to the pyol and shooting.Shooting for over 30 minutes.
When we worked on the film much later ( you can watch a rough-cut film on the Rudrapatna Fest which has been posted on www.kutcheribuzz.com) we kept gazing at the textures of the dusty, worn tiles which were bathed in the rain. These were nice visuals.
Most of us have forgotten our terraces and roof-tops.
Even though almost all of us live in multi-storeyed apartment blocks we often keep the door to the terrace locked, fearing a nasty suicide by a lovelorn maid or a crazy neighbour!
The terrace is just the place to catch the wondrous formations in the skies as a prelude to a shower.
Perhaps you could catch a sudden flight of birds who can't afford to break journey southwards.
Or the trail of the setting sun who hates to be seen drenched and quickly sinks into the clouds.
Or the changing skyline as the clouds journey across the city and head to your neighbourhood or scurry away from you.
Perhaps monsoon time is an occasion to look up. From our terrace tops.
If you have time, you can do more. Walk down a tree-lined avenue and breathe deep or wander across a wooded campus.Head to the fringe of the beach.
Or go to the local market place and look for the bajji stall.Bajjis made at street corner stalls taste special.

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