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If life were painted on a canvas, it would have been coloured by memories. Bright ones for those wonderful childhood days; fresh ones for the unforgettable teen years; gray for all those difficult times; sober ones for the responsible days of adulthood… And the most beautiful shade of them all would be reserved for those memories that demonstrate ones intimate bonding with the homeland.

BackTrack is a homeward bound journey to find those beautiful colours and catch a fistful of stars shining on the Mangalore horizon. --Suzy Fontes


Romancing The Rains

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[ Published Date: July 22, 2005 ]

Over the fields and far away...

A touch too romantic to begin, but that’s where I was a couple of months ago. Far away from everything Mangalore. Dreaming of dark gray clouds and the tap-tap sound of rain drops on the clay-tiled roof.

Rains are romantic when you are away, far away from home. Well, I guess they are romantic even when one is up close with it. The element of uncertainty adds to the romantic allure.

Be it the mad scramble to pull off clothes from the line at the first sign of darkening clouds or the confidence to leave it be with a firm `No, it won’t rain. Not just yet!’ there is a continuous communication with the forces above. Rather, a furtive effort to give rains a human form and read its mind. Will you rain down…?

I once did a rain dance with my cousins to calm dark clouds brewing up a storm in the horizon. We had had planned a daylong picnic at the Pannamboor beach and the rain was playing spoilsport. We were a little big to rhyme 'Rain, rain go away…’ and the dance worked perfectly. It seemingly appeased the rain gods who relented with a long sigh, fading away the gray in the sky with a spray of fluffy white clouds. That it poured down on us as we were winding up that evening is another story.

As I said a while ago, one shares a very warm camaraderie with this thing called rain. It isn’t every season that one stares up at the sky without blinking or shielding ones eye and making mental notes on the impending fate of the burgeoning clouds.

Here in Mangalore, where, I believe, it pours when it rains, it can feel like a thriller movie in action. The rains playing to the audience with clanging thunder and frighteningly fiery lightning. Nah doesn’t seem so romantic then. More like an enraged dragon in a demonstrative mood. Spewing fire and screaming mad.

Well, lemme not delude myself. I am sure it isn’t romantic to all those who have to rush to seek dry shelter every time it pours. And of course, who would want to contend with a rain that hampers ones very livelihood.

Romancing the rain or otherwise, I too could do without the potholed roads that resemble craters on the moon, albeit soaking muddy.

I could do without the mildew that forms around everything wood/wooden. I balked at the sight of the fine creamy formation on an old African man carved out of single piece of wood, a gift from a dear friend, just a week after the monsoon set in. And since, it has taken a liking to a newly purchased palm frond lampshade, a date leaf woven basket and even my wooden spatulas.

But rain it must. To make memories... Memories of paper boats let free in the rain water collecting by the front door; of leaky roofs and pots and pans to hold it in; of free showers that tingle your very bones; of slippery porches and tricky paths; of overgrown sidewalks and slimy worms; of raincoats and unexpected holidays…

And to create that inimitable exotic smell of hot mud coursing up in the air with every drop of rain. There is choreography in the way the droplets crystallize the soft mud, turning it into little craters before washing them loose with more drops, sending soothing smells of baking mud.

There are a whole lot of them, memories that is, stacked scrappily in the little mental library to run a fond finger through them and select the ones that match the mood of the moment.

Away from home, the slightest sign of gray in the skies could induce a trip to the meadows of childhood. There is still a longing to rush out and feel the rain without any protective gear. But… I did it the first time I experienced rain in the Gulf. But here… With so many batty folks walking around the streets, shaking a finger or two at passersby, I am bound to get my share of strange looks.

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rashmi fernandes, UAE:
Hey Suzy!
Great to read your article....Brought back a lot of memories! Yes..I remember the rain dance that we did! Those were the days! Miss Mangalore so much!!
Way to go, girl! Keep up the good work....
Forever proud to be one of your rain soaked cousins, Rashmi..
K. B. Mallya, M.D., --:
Hi Suzie!

That photograph of little girl sitting with an umbrella in the rain, in your article was taken by me! I just couldnt resist when I saw the way she was sitting enjoying the rain!!

I remember as a kid, whenever it rained, I used to make a small paper boat and let it go in that small stream and run beside it!! Build a small dam and enjoy watching the water build up only to overflow! What about when there was both sunshine and rain? Rainbow... Then my mother telling me "dry your hair, or else you will catch a cold"!!!Gosh I can go on and on...Indeed brought back memories...

I have heard a lot about your writings from friends....welcome to to read your articles....
mel tau, Oman:
Hi Suzy,

Romancing the Rain...WOW! You have brought back sweet memories. Feels good to relive them..."I’m singing in the rain, just singing in the rain; what a wonderful feeling, I’m happy again...”

Have enjoyed reading all your articles in the Times of Oman weekly magazine ‘Thursday’. Gr8 to see you on with your new column ‘Back Track’. Looking forward to the next one...
Shaly Pereira, Oman:
Welcome to the M.Com team Suzy. After reading your articles in Times of Oman, it’s a pleasure to read them on home ground.

What a cool start….RAINS! Brings back loads of memories. Very descriptive write-up. Hope we get to see a lot more and SOON.:)All the very best!
Amarnath Bantwal, Kuwait:
Suzy Fontes,

Romancing the rains- Brought back many a memory of the yesteryears in the Mangalorean monsoons.

Heard my friends waxing eloquent about your writing, finally got to read some. Hope this is a regular column- sure to revv up the readership on the website.

Welcome to Suzy. Thanks for doing that lil jig to the tap-tapping of the rains-made wonderful reading. Look forward to more from you.
Zeena J Noronha, Oman:
Suzy Fontes!

Rains are romantic no doubt about it! And a walk in rain.....simply too romantic!
Nice refreshing article!
Total Comments: 6   Showing: 1-6

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