Spreading your arms open and letting your Surf Excel-ed clothes get drenched in drops of water being pulled by gravitational force from the clouds, as you swirl around feeling the freshness on your face, your favourite song playing in the background of your mind with its tune in sync with the raindrops splattering on the ground and just then a large blob of brown, thick, muddy water splashes on your face and clothes to wake you up from your fantasy and bring you face-to-face or muddy-to-muddy with reality.
‘Yew! Yuck!’ That might be the words you can afford to utter while sitting dry and warm away from rains, but when it’s raining and you have no other option but to step out, it’s not the Bollywood-style swirls, but monkey-style jumps you need to make to escape vehicles slinging waterlogged on roads onto you. It’s not your favorite melody playing in your mind but the swear words being muffled by incessant honkings.
Like many other make-believes that Bollywood has us trapped in romanticizing rains is the biggest fallacy of them all. From lead actors making love to jilted lovers weeping, rainfall is a prop that can give the cliches of cliche award. The only thing that’s happening which is close to romance is your own clothes hugging your body revealing that ugly paunch of yours or the bald patch on your head that you try to cover up with pastures around. Also, it is absolutely impractical to walk in the middle of the road crying like they show in the movies because people don’t care if you’re crying, they just want you to move the hell way away and make way for their vehicle – they need to rush home where they spend more time drying up themselves and then their clothes.
The ground reality is so different from what they show in movies. The only reality of ground here is: Where there is a road, there are potholes. It is impossible to lay roads without leaving space for a couple potholes like it is impossible to make a turn without lighting up those damn indicators. But if you want to test your partner whether he really loves you, take them out for a walk while it’s raining and see if he saves himself or stands like a wall to save you from that dirty splash coming your way.
One more thing that’s ritualistic with the monsoon season is; garam garam pakodas (Then there are some who try to be ‘unique’ by ‘craving’ for ice-cream). Expecting your mom to have hot pakodas ready just in time for you is not only imaginary but also prejudice (Sexism counts only if you’re a man, but if you’re a woman then feminism jumps out of the window into the rain). You are lucky if your mothers still rush to you with a towel to dry your hair up, while simultaneously scolding you because feminism hasn’t reached your home yet.
So, monsoons aren’t romantic, fresh, filmy and fun, they’re potholes, drainage-muddy water, the deafening sound of horns, traffic scary-as-shit thunders and wet.