Henceforth, ‘The Everyday Project’ is going to be called ‘The #365 Project’, obviously because every day doesn’t seem to be happening but I’m still pretty determined to make it to #1. And here’s the thing – I will make it to #1 on the very same day next year that I began the project this year. I don’t know how yet but that’s the fun of it.
This one is going to be about rainy days. The beautiful, romantic monsoon season inspiring poetry and bringing out your childhood in you. The one that makes you want to jump in puddles, splash water about, feel the raindrops on your face with your eyes closed, listen to all soulful, romantic tracks, have tea with pakora*1 and bhajiya*1 dates or go on long drives or simply grin together at your mucky feet while having hot, spicy bhutta*2 in your raincoat and set paper boats sailing. The season that movies and soap operas milk dry for the heroine getting wet in the rain in some sort of chiffon while the hero watches amazed and falls in love quotient. Yes, yes, the same season that sends your heart on a spree of indulging in all monsoon clichés.
This isn’t about those days. This is about those days when you missed an appointment due to the heavy traffic in the rains, were refused by a line of autos, splattered your way through muck, handling an umbrella and protecting the already-getting-drenched important contents of your bag; while buildings and other structures overhead dripped away to glory on your head. That time, when you were a hungry, tired mess and your wallet permitted you to choose between affording a rick back home and a roadside bhutta (irrespective of the quality) and you found yourself wondering ‘when did a bhutta, and the really small kind for that matter, become so expensive?’. The day when you flapped your arms so hard and so long to get a rick that they might just have developed the power to fly you back home. The day when your cell phone switched off due to no battery power and you anyway had no balance to ask someone to come pick you up.
Or the day when you had a million plans or ideas to spend your day and the heavy rains not only made you stay indoors but also made you feel inevitably gloomy. Or when the rains are actually spectacular, but you’re confined to your cubicle meeting deadlines and stealing glances at the rains outside thinking of all the places you could be, just wishing you could be indulging in all the monsoon clichés right now. And let’s not even count the 26th July type days.
But what I realized in the last few days is that the beauty of people apparently comes out in this season. Offering lifts to people, strangers sharing rickshaws and cribbing together about the rains. Or friends making plans to collectively escape the gloom. Or your mom preparing a hot bath and making bowls full of comfort food because she was worried about you returning home a hungry, tired, mucky mess. And people offering water and food for the ones stuck in the rains. So this rainy season, I’m going to celebrate that. I’m going to celebrate what your people make of the rains. Or how people may be different in different parts of you, but during the monsoons all of them enjoy the same clichés of playing in puddles and sailing paper boats.
And maybe I’ll also celebrate the beauty of it in different parts of you like the evergreen Marine Drive and Worli Seaface in Mumbai, with an apt song and that ridiculously expensive pretentious portion of bhutta. 😉
*1Indian savouries made of chopped vegetables mixed in a spicy batter and deep-fried.
*2Indian spicy corn on cob