Sunday, April 17, 2011

April showers

Let the rain sing you a lullaby
~Langston Hughes

Rain in April is an incredibly adorable thought. I often wish to be on some lone hillside, watching the rain fall on our little valley in little driblets of silver and grey. Ofcourse it would mean hawkers quickly putting inverted brown burlaps on their heads and newspaper vendors throwing tarpaulin sheets on sheaves of Urdu papers with pictures of men, with two day stubble, lined up for electing their Sarpanchs [village headmen]. Thankfully there is nothing elective about April showers.

Dreary clouds appear over the skies of Srinagar in rain. Loud thunder-caps cause mushrooms to sprout in many hidden places in the countryside. At night the poor sleep to the pitter-patter of rain songs. Those who can afford electricity sit in front of their television screens, watching cricket or related entertainment. Yesterday the local police chief told them wheat from the chaff on TV. With such efficient cops, you can keep your windows open on rainy nights, without a fear in the world.

As rains continue to fall, another planeload of thinking-heads arrives to confabulate for the millionth time to solve the vexed problem -- that Kashmir is. The ducks in Dal never care for such meaningless powwow and glide dreamily in the lake. Essentially we live in an age of maximalist stances and hardened opinion is like religion. People seldom agree with each other but they shall talk, however incoherently. And it will rain some more and the ducks will glide in the mist.

The Taj group has a new hotel up in Srinagar. They call it Vivanta. Since everything looks picture postcard, boulevard onwards, spring birds will have a new oasis, complete with boughs and branches to perch upon. I like the lovelorn sounds birds make on rain swept days. There is something glumly beautiful about those drizzling evenings. It makes you want to be animatedly existent, despite the oddities of life. Vivanta means alive, by the bye.

© Sameer