Following the blistering Delhi summers, monsoons bring much relief for all ~ plants, animals and humans. While the rains clear out the pollution, leaving behind fresh air, the smell of wet mud can be intoxicating. The trees and shrubs don a freshly-washed look and people can be seen loitering in their residential parks even during noon.
Delhi is also lucky to have plenty of fruit trees ~ Jamun (Blackberries), Guava and Mango are the most common ones. The juicy dark purple Jamun is associated with the monsoons. Both the humans and birds and animals ~ monkeys, squirrels and parrots to name a few ~ relish this not-so-sweet seasonal fruit.
While the rains are welcomed by all, it is the less privileged who are more relieved from the relentless heat. Be it the rickshawpullers or the e-rickshaw wallahs, they are all seen relaxing on the pavements. To earn a livelihood they have to venture out on days that are blazing like ovens. They take a much-needed break during a good rainfall. Moreover, transporting stranded people during heavy rains brings them extra money.
Braving the summers is a big deal for the homeless. Although nights may seem like a solace, days are not easy. Earthen water pots (matkas and surahees) are the only means of momentary relief. Not only humans but animals and birds too can be seen seeking the shade of trees and looking for water. Monsoons certainly brings joy for all of them.
Lost in air
People are known to be nervous of flying and often react in a wierd manner. A colleague recounted an incident on a recent Delhi-Mumbai flight, which left the other co-passengers in splits. Soon after breakfast was served on the early morning flight, a middle-aged lady sitting right behind our colleague suddenly stood up and shouted loudly, “Ye (pilot) galat le ke ja raha hai. Ise rasta nahin pata. Hum late pahunchenge. Ye galat leke ja raha hai. (The pilot has taken the wrong route.
He doesn’t know the way. We’ll reach late.)” As the other passengers burst into laughter and our colleague choked on her food, the air-hostess came down and smilingly calmed the lady down and assured her the plane was on the right route. However, the lady did not appear to be convinced as our colleague saw her prod her embarrassed husband’s shoulder and assert, “Mai bata rahi hun, ye galat lekar jaa raha hai. Sunlo meri baat. (I’m telling you, he’s taken the wrong route. Mark my words.)” Landing in Mumbai, our colleague looked around for the lady but she was lost in the crowd.
It is said a stint in a hostel, away from parents’ protective care, does a world of good as children learn to be independent and do their own chores. But the flip side is that, away from parental eye, many children often get into bad habits, as one aquaintance described. This person, a senior executive in a private company, had sent his son to a well-known university abroad to study. For the boy’s graduation ceremony the whole family was there, staying in a hotel.
A few days before the big day, the father decided to pay a surprise visit in the hostel to his son, who was known to be studious and a “good child”. However, he was in for a surprise as he found the boy’s room in shambles. Filthy and stinking, there were beer bottles and ash-trays overflowing with cigarette butts, not to speak of dirty clothes and mouldy plates. One did not know who was more shocked, the father or the son, the gentleman recalled though he did end up giving a piece of his mind to the youngster.
A new order emerges, quipped our in-house wag, as top teams either crash out or struggle to retain a toe-hold in the ongoing World Cup tournament.
Contributed by: Bhavana Lalwani, R V Smith, Abhijeet Anand, Hasrat Sandhu and Asha Ramachandran