Re: monsoon moments
Jul 11, 2014
Kerala shares its most idyllic stories, its best-kept secrets, with the
mazha kalam (rainy season)
If a Malayali writes an autobiography, at least one chapter is sure to dwell
on the monsoons. The stormy rains in June and July are part of the fabric of
life in Kerala. One might begin their tale with the flash floods of '58,
while another may talk of the rains turning the courtyard in an ancestral
home glassy and grey.
For me, it's the memory of the heat of many months that dissipates in a
second when the first few drops timidly hit the ground. Growing up in the
village of Madikai in Kasaragod district of Kerala, my annual school
holidays were all about the scent of overripe paranki maanga (cashew
apples), which I had to pick from the family orchards every day. Summer days
were also about walking to the temple grounds in the neighbouring villages
to watch theyyam, sitting idle under thatched sheds at noon, waiting for
heavy, yellow mangoes to drop from the trees, and playing football for hours
on end on the paddy fields, now barren after the harvest.
But memories of summer evaporate as soon as the monsoon rages in, with the
scent of the wet mud overpowering all other senses. With the days of my
youth, the carefree summer vacations, long gone, it is the first rain that
brings back a flood of memories from Madikai.
Photo essay by Thulasi Kakkat