Well its that time of the year again- rain beating down against my windows relentlessly- creating the right kind of gothic atmosphere for some ritual baby sacrifices or perhaps just a torrid Bollywood love affair. I tend to search out some decent monsoon ragas and rain songs to go along with the season so click on the “Rain Songs” tab to the left for last year’s stash. Of course it is also necessarily that time of year to watch some of the lurid rain dances on youtube- most of them are bad dancers who don’t do the whole drenched femme fatale bit very well but probably shagged some b-grade director for a bit part- all except for this one– Nida chaudhry-who has probably the sleaziest latkas-jaktkas I’ve ever seen and is my personal favorite- I found one of her last year which remains a truck driver classic but I think this year’s performance far surpasses last years find. enjoy.
Click on the “Rain Songs” tab to hear some monsoon songs
image from ladygator.com
well as the last trickle of rains falls down in Bombay, we are enjoying the annoying house guests of the season; mosquitos. Some people are coming down with Dengue fever…or “Dengu” as our cook back home likes to call it. I guess too much of a good thing can get a bit pissing off. Having missed out on the Bombay rains for two years I was completely taken in with the sound of the tides of water falling off the window shutters in this lumbering old house of ours. I would sit back and play classical music and get all misty-eyed and write bad poetry. But rain is, I guess, a lot like a favorite house guest. When they first arrive you can’t get enough of them. But after a while their irritating habits start getting to you…with rain…I guess its that contrary to what water should bring to mind…it brings forth tides of filth. Instead of wiping things clean it makes the sewers overflow and when you’re walking in the street your toenails get filled with the grime of mud mixed together in all probability with spit and piss and what have you….In most homes in the city water becomes a scarcity, a rare commodity and a thing to bicker about. So most showers I’ve been taking have been under a very narrow trickle of luke warm water, which just about manages to saturate my hair for long enough so that it gets out the shampoo. In the unlucky parts of the city, it makes it impossible for people living in slums to get clean drinking water and everyone comes down with serious illnesses. The humidity makes people more prone to skin infections and mold grows on all leather and organic materials overnight. Generally everyone comes down with disgusting flu viruses and then passes them around so that every other person is shivering through fever sweats and developing whooping cough. But it should be over soon.
Looking back at the soul-scorching summer heat that inspired some of my former posts on welcome monsoons, I thought I’d put up one last “Rain Dance” song, if for no other reason than just to annoy myself, watching Aishwarya Rai pretend to be an innocent village belle, gyrating her hips on a rural rock and singing “rain rain clouds clouds” with her irritatingly adorable expressions. She kind of reminds me of the “world’s cutest kitten”, Nermal, that Garfield is always trying to do away with…maybe its her great big eyes…or maybe its her fluffy tail…or maybe its that, like Nermal, I’d like to chain her to a scratching post, rub her belly and feed her sewer rats…anyway…here’s “Barso Re” from “Guru”.
This subtle song about rain mixes perfectly with the backdrop of rain falling on my window shutters. These guys have amazing voices with a mix of Indian classical and the song really captures the original idea of seasonal ragas, and brings out the sound of what it feels like to get lost in one’s thoughts on a rainy day when you have no where particular to go and have the time to trace the raindrops:
Rāga (in Sanskrit “Raga” is literally “colour” or “mood”) and (rāgam Carnatic music) refers to melodic modes used in Indian classical music. In Indian music, a series of five or more musical notes upon which a melody is founded. Raga may also denote a particular melody. In the Indian musical tradition, ragas are held to evoke particular “moods” and metaphorically “colour” the experience of the listener and are often performed to correspond and resonate with a season or time of day. Indian classical music is always set in raga. Non-classical music such as popular Indian film songs sometimes use ragas in their compositions.
image from navis
So I’m in the middle of packing up all our stuff because my man (husband sounds so “stepford wives”)…my man got a job in Bombay and after many months of being postponed because of various jobs and commitments that had to get done in Chandigarh we are finally going to be on the plane day after…and we cant wait to get off the plane and smell that delicious Bombay air…followed by drinking a Bombay drink with old friends who are like family and who have been waiting for us to arrive there for a long time…and I hear the first fall of rain has already hit the city…it seems too good to be true. Anyways, cleaning house, packing shit up and locking stuff away, while trying to fit the bare essentials into suitcases to shift to a new city always ends up in a treasure hunt discovery of random pieces of paper and notes you’d written and forgotten, plans you’d half-started and suddenly have the chance to follow through…old VCD discs that you’d thought had disappeared suddenly peek out behind dust bunnies and half dried cockroaches under bookshelves…after a while I am covered in soot, over-caffeinated but basically buzzing over the fact that we are going to be back in the city where we’ve been the most happy…the city of bad good cinema that has the best food in the world…and we are going to dine well when we arrive…oh yes… Britannia…Olympia…Basilico…New Martins…the list continues…and then for a cold beer at Starlit Cafe with old friends…and then we will gangbang the local cinema halls and see a million films back to back…Anyways I want to put up some totally gratuitous, disgustingly sentimental music clips because right now I actually feel disgustingly sentimental. I guess I’m still a geek stuck in 80’s pop romantic sentimentality but I guess the songs you listen to in highschool always touch a chord later on and what can I say…U2 is the teenage music still playing in my aging mid-twenty-year-old…err…blood-pumping-thingy… This is for you babe… cuz I really don’t care which city we live in or where we go…or how much of our useless junk we take with us… “All the Promises we make…from the cradle to the grave…but all I want is you…” anyway blah blah blah…love you etc.
Tomorrow morning we’re in Bombay…the last minute frantic dash to pack and clean and then collapse and get up and fly off. I just cant wait to taste the Bombay rains…there’s nothing like them…nothing at all…another one for you my love:
The lyrics seem somehow very right for right now…Led Zepplin’s “Rain Song”:
This is the springtime of my loving-The second season I am to know
You are the sunlight in my growing-So little warmth Ive felt before.
It isnt hard to feel me glowing-I watched the fire that grew so low.
It is the summer of my smiles-Flee from me keepers of the gloom.
Speak to me only with your eyes -It is to you I give this tune.
Aint so hard to recognize-These things are clear to all from Time to time…
Ive felt the coldness of my winter I never thought it would ever go
I cursed the gloom that set upon us…But I know that I love you so
But I know that I love you so.
These are the seasons of emotion-And like the winds they rise and fall
This is the wonder of devotion-I see the torch we all must hold.
This is the mystery of the quotient-Upon us all a little rain Must fall.
Just a little rain?
image from lemonade
FINALLY…the rain came to rescue us in Chandigarh
It was getting so unbelievably hot over here…you can’t imagine…I mean it was getting to the point of being SO hot that you could LITERALLY see mirages of an oasis appear on the surface of the sticky tar-coated streets…our brains were cooking in our skulls…air conditioners were breaking down upstairs, downstairs; there were major power fluctuations and of course the internet connection decided to help matters by shutting down for part of the week. It was getting hot…so hot that even with an air-conditioner blasting on your face you were on the verge of heat-stroke. We were becoming rabid monkeys, trapped in our hot brick cages…gulping down soft-drinks that seemed to go in but never quench the thirst…And then, mercifully…today the skies opened up and let down some cooling relief…and if this was just a tease…just a sample of waterworks not yet arrived…then I think I am literally going to sleep under the shower for the next few weeks…because I am losing my mind and it doesn’t know its way home…so in the hopes that the rain will stay and we will not return to the sweltering, maddening, soul-frying, heat…here is an offering of a (clearly virginal) sacrificial maiden from somewhere in Punjab/Pakistan doing a rain dance…to appease the appetites of Indra, Zeus, and whatever other divine sadists might be watching to see whether we are going to melt before they decide to let it rain.