Today was the kids’ first day back at school after the long Easter break. Just the day Sydney is experiencing its worst weather in decades. It’s been raining cats and dogs – and every animal on Noah’s ark. (Come to think of it, an ark would be the ideal place to be right now!). It’s torrential/blustery/vicious/stormy/insert-suitable-wet-weather-adjective-here.
I almost did a Mary Poppins wrestling my umbrella on the way to school this morning. And now that the kids have returned with soggy socks (and sandwiches), I am thinking about the first day of school back in Bombay, India.
You see, back in the day, the 13th of June could only mean one thing: the first day of school. And if it was the first day of school, you could bet your bottom rupee it would be raining.
As if the date wasn’t dire enough, Nimbus rain clouds gathered in full force to darken our moods. Backpacks burdened with freshly covered books and newly labelled lunch boxes, we trudged our way to school. Sturdy raincoats and rain shoes were mandatory – dainty umbrellas disgraced themselves with upturned skirts and poky spokes in no time.
As we made our way to school, my cousins, my brother and I ambled along, frequently distracted by the magic of the monsoon. There was so much to see along the way: croaking bullfrogs lustily serenading their girlfriends, puddles and paper-boats, tadpoles dancing and darting about in gutters, earthworms inching along footpaths, and the heat and dust of summer washed clean.On the way home from school, we sometimes treated ourselves to an afternoon snack from the roadside buttawalla: corn on the cob, roasted over hot charcoal and rubbed with just the right mix of salt, chilli powder and lemon. Sinking our teeth into that was butta bliss!
Thinking back to my childhood in Bombay, I would have to say that my favourite memory of a Mumbai monsoon is Petrichor – the earthy (but heavenly!) scent of the rain awakening the soil.
While having dinner this evening, the kids and I came up with these rhymes to get us out of our downpour doldrums (with apologies to the originals).
It’s raining, it’s pouring
The Sydney skies are storming
We’re going to bed with some dread
How will we get to school in the morning?
Rain, rain go away!
Come again but not today
C1 and C2 want a replay
Of summer days to make hay
Let’s have some fun! What wet weather /rain-related words and phrases can you think of? Please list them in the comments. Let’s see how many we can come up with.
I’ll start with these: drizzle, deluge, downpour, pitter-patter, raindrops on roses, rainbow, every cloud has a silver lining…