this is a personal request to south asian weather.
when arriving in india, i worried you and your pregnant clouds were going to dampen my goan beach fun. granted, your threat made our stay a steal and your no-show was a welcome relief: my tan blossomed, my bank account beamed joyfully and i forgot you existed.
chasing trains and buses down, down towards the indian tip, i watched the skies like a hawk, wondering when you would finally make yourself known. as my tan faded and the temperatures rose, i began to look forward to you. everywhere i went, you were gossip central, the talk of every town i strolled through. and yet, months after your expected arrival, and you were yet to show your face. first dismissed as fashionably late, rumours of desertion were in the dry air and your disappearance shrouded in mystery. a temptress in a grey silk sari, you skirted the villages, leaving only the half-forgotten perfume of damp soil behind.
making myself at home in sadhana forest, i settled down confident in the knowledge that your summer monsoon little sister was due within days. as the earth cracked and crumbled, as the plantlife slowly shriveled under a cruel tamil sun and dust rose from the plodding cattle looking for a taste of green, we finally accepted she had skipped out on her yearly visit.
expectations immediately shifted to mother monsoon; the mother of purple storms and daily deluges. the one that changes the landscape into rainbows and flowers, the interior designer that makes everything fresh and renewed. october, we all decided, looking at the clear blue sky, at the latest.
as i flew towards the land of cinnamon and cricket and read my guide book, my thoughts ran parallel to those on my flight from spain to india: how october is the month of water and low prices. the month of very cheap my friend but no good beach my friend. ah well, i told myself, contemplating the sri lankan palm trees from miles above, at least you'll finally get to experience proper monsoon downpours.
typing this from the most fabulous guesthouse in town, i chance a peak between the curtains and watch history repeat itself: fluffy clouds spin and dance overhead, darkening and ripening, only to dissolve in the sunlight, like sugar in a cup of tea. gone. au revoir!
so i ask you, monsoon, do you really exist? or are you the thing dreams are made of; hot, dusty dreams that crave cool raindrops to quench and revitalize the land and its people?