Vantage point

Monday, April 28, 2008

Where is the love? The Hate?

For me, moving to America has meant bidding goodbye to a lot of things. But few break-ups keep resurfacing as frequently as my break-up with the Indian rain. In India, year after year, we go through a unique love-hate relationship with rain. After the dry oppressive months of summer, the first few showers are manna from heaven. Especially that smell, when water rains down on the hard baked soil, leading to a sweet scent wafting in the air. Thee are small puddles displaying the seven colours of the rainbow. There is the uncontrollable desire to down pakodas and hot chai when it is pouring outside. And then the rain overstays its welcome. It keeps raining for weeks and months until you are sick of it. You curse the traffic snarls, the massive puddles which cause your vehicle to break down. It is almost poetic.

In the US, you experience none of that. At least not in Pennsylvania. It rains intermittently, pretty much the whole year. The rain is not necessarily doing the job of parching the thirst of the sunbaked earth. There is no magical smell. There is no novelty, built up over 9 rainless months. There is no distinction between pre-monsoon showers and actual monsoon showers. And there is hardly ever discomfort caused enough for us to hate the rain. The rain just becomes part of the backstory, as opposed to the centre stage it takes in India.

There has however, been a new love-hate relationship forged. The one with snow. It is special in its own way, but not comparable.