It rained heavily in Bangalore on friday. We were having Ethnic Day celebrations at office terrace, when the menacing thunderous clouds rolled up and it began raining cats & dogs.Heavy pellets splashed on us from the tarpaulin sheet overhead. I was traveling home that night. And in Kerala the monsoon was setting in with all its ferocity .

My growing up years were closely associated with monsoon. It was the season I used to love as a kid, the season which used to irritate me when I grew up, the season that arouses waves of nostalgia when I think of it now. I used to hate it because, I could no longer go out anywhere and had to stay back at home. Hence my moods used to be as cloudy as the overcast monsoon sky. There was a persistent damp feeling everywhere & dresses took forever to dry up.

My home is on the banks of river Periyar and it's mesmerizing to watch the river when it is raining. The rain lashing on the gentle river and creating turbulent whirlpools is something I love watching .During my childhood, it was usual for Periyar to flood up during monsoon & threateningly encroach on it's banks. It was something much awaited by us, to play on the swollen river banks swarming with fish, crabs and an occasional water snake. And when the flood gates of Boothathankettu Dam were opened up due to overloading, the rain swollen river used to look menacingly beautiful.

Once when I was 7 years old, I went to play in the river accompanied by my mother. I started playing on the flooded stone steps leading to the river. As a child, I used to behave exactly opposite of what I was told to do .So when my mother shouted, 'Dont go further', I had this sudden inner urge to step forth. Involuntarily I took a few paces ahead . But there were no more steps... I fell into a deep gorge and was helplessly drowning in the river. My mother who never swam in her entire life time was forced to jump into the water and drag me out. Now the moment I was confirmed alive I got a good doze of scolding. Thus ended my trysts with the river. Never again during my childhood was I taken anywhere 1 km radius from the river. Even the mention of the word 'river' resulted in terrible outbursts in the form of scolding & threats!!! But then unknown to my family , I had eloped several times with my best friend to the river banks & plucked those tempting water lilies. That's entirely another story.

I remember the time when we went for Goa trip from college. That was one of our best tours. We stayed in a beautiful beach resort , which ensured that we spent a whole day on the sun-kissed sandy beaches of Goa. But the only kill-joy was our Sir who screamed at us, every time we attempted anything adventurous. So in the afternoon, we locked his door from outside when we went out :) We were frolicking in the sea, when out of blue, it started raining. It was not an ordinary drizzle; it was a heavy thunderous outpour.. And we delightfully stayed in the sea, while the heavens poured itself out. It was simply blissful...And the best part was, we were so far away from the shore, even crossing the danger zone, where a red pole was hoisted as warning.

These incidents surface my mind when I think about monsoon. Between, I am planning to buy the book 'Where the rain is born' compiled by Anitha Nair.It's a collection of stories about Kerala. The title of the book itself is too tempting for me...