How does the monsoon begin?
It tears into houses in the dead quiet of the night without asking…all you hear is an unending clap of windows, calendars thrashing about and aluminium vessels crashing down on the kitchen floor.
I wanted to give a physical sense of the monsoon barging into houses without asking, without locking her eyes with ours, making a lot of hullabaloo. The acoustics is intentionally evoked with the noises of calendars thrashing, aluminium vessels crashing, and the windows clapping.
What else is remaining in a monsoon shower? The sense of smell, isn’t it?
You will find monsoon inside your home with the tang of distant places still hung to it in patches and tatters, and searching out every corner of your rooms with his cold breath.
The writer was sure that with all those senses evoked, the readers would begin to explore their own encounters with the first rain. They would understand what it means when I wrote that the first buffet of the Monsoon:
wouldn’t leave until he sees the last relics of summer disappear and the whole house reverberates in excitement.
I don’t remember how long I could’ve have fussed over that word, ‘relics’. Sometimes it would take even a day of hard thinking to finalize on a word. Sometimes it comes all of sudden like the disarming smile on the face of a whimpering baby. Who can tell!
There is a word born for every space in a sentence, and we sometimes have to draw it from the depths of the Pacific or from a planet called Jupiter. It is your job as a writer to find the One.
Why not say cheers? I don’t remember when was the last time I sat opposite a monsoon rain, with a shot of whisky warming in my hand. But the writer has a gut feeling that it is pretty romantic to pitch the warmth of the drink against the cool showers.
“I know a certain monsoon rain which raps on my windowpane during nights and pitches the idea of a shot of whiskey. I comply with a smile. We chat throughout the night. I talk attic, and the rain talks cellar but in the morning we will tell each other how enlightening our conversation was, last night.”
We talked in different languages, but were happy with the chat, the morning after.
If the rain doesn’t bring memories of old love, it is not monsoon:
Not flu, not cold, but love is the most mischievous epidemic during the season. Every time you hear somebody opening his windows in cold monsoon nights, realize this. They open them to their past, to rekindle old fires and warm themselves by their heat.
Does it have anything to do with the writer’s own experience? Needn’t have to. When we write, we sometimes transcend our lives and step into other bodies.
There are little moments of joy that we dismiss in real life. Hold them close if you are an aspiring writer as a few of them can dazzle like diamonds on the page.
You like riding bikes in rain? Or walking in the rain? Then you know the moment when the cold rain water seeps through the underwear and touches the scrotum. I extended that experience to a woman, who was walking in the rain.
In the bus stop I see a woman shudder. The rain has just found her out through the clothes.
I was virtually drugged when I wrote:
In the muffled light from street lamps I see a mango tree quiver. The cold rain could be searching out her deepest pore now. The green garland wound around its warty branches grows succulent, shivers, clings closer to the warmth of the tree. I must warn you dear, with this coyness and play, you will burst into jasmine flowers tomorrow.
You accuse me of eroticism? Man, it is not just implied, but eroticism is the body and soul of that little part of the story. When I wrote about the cold rain searching out the mango tree’s deepest pore, I was right inside, along with the frigid monsoon. Who was the lucky woman? Sadly the writer doesn’t keep tabs on the muses who inspire him . They come and go with the rain (They can be imaginary or real. Nothing is taboo for a writer as he fantasizes the world. Take your morals elsewhere).
But, one thing I remember. I was blissfully tired after those lines. Who says writing is just an expression of the soul? It is an expression of the body too.
If you feel it in your body when you write, your reader may sometimes feel it in his soul. Passion is an infectious disease. It is not only air-borne. It is word-borne too.
So, Mr. Writer, there is a blank page waiting at RRR just for you.
And somewhere else your muse is waiting for the monsoon. Can you make her quiver once again with the Word, Manu?