I grew up walking through the mist. On lucky days, navigating through thick clouds. Now, when I think about those days I get copious dose of nostalgia with a dash of goosebumps.
But at the tender age of 8, I was busy complaining about the rains than romancing it. Because growing up in Himachal and going to school in monsoons meant ugly gumboots to start with. And then there were the snails and slugs that would inevitably get squashed under the uglies leaving behind a trail of gooey innards. Lastly and most annoyingly, the soggy notebooks. It seemed like any amount of raincoats and umbrellas could not keep the drench away from my school bag, and muck away from me.
But even then, while grumbling through it I distinctly remember the rush of glee when a hot cup of delicious something would appear to cheer the blues away. Or an extra helping of pocket money to feast on the roasted bhutta. Or the little shed under which friends would gather half drenched. With stocks of comics and scrabbles pretending to be caved in and stranded on an island, with just a few chocolate bars to keep us alive. With monsoon came fresh new shades of experience that neither summer nor winter could sign up for.
There is a certain romance to the rains that almost tangibly washes away dust from our lives. All we need to do is allow ourselves to rejoice in it more than revolt it. Now as an adult, I crave to walk through the mist. It clears the cobwebs in my head gathered through the corporate routine. I let my dog roll in slush and while I must do the customary yell, I feel her pleasure. I hit the highway and drive 10 hours one way for a 24- hour weekend halt. And stop as many times as possible for fresh fruits, pakoda and steaming tea. I come back tired but happy. Because I have become the adult that does not let the fear of muck, traffic jam, bending roads, landslides become bigger than the beauty of the season.
I have done Goa, Pondicherry, parts of Himachal, Uttaranchal & Rajasthan in rain, amongst others. And it has felt like a whole new place than before. So try it, if you haven’t already. Get out of town and go back to a favorite place or haunt that you haven’t visited in monsoons. And allow it to leave its mist on you.