This Year's Winter

By this year's winter I would have left Cape town. That was according to my travel plan. The plan I made when I shifted to Capetown by the beginning of this year. Towards the end of April or by early May I would have landed in Kerala. By June I would be sitting in the sit out of my Kerala home, ears awaiting the  horrendous beat of that monster-the Monsoon.  But I'm still in my Capetown home. Plans are made to be broken too..



So, my Monsoon dreams are stalled, and locked up for the time being. But the old memories will never die. I do have them plenty. And I have been witnessing its action packed shows in the media, for years.  Weather scientists measuring its pounding rate in centimeters, camera following its vengeful devastation, earth in parts together with its inhabitants wiped out completely.

Everything will be submerged under water. Mountain ranges soaring high into the bleak Kerala skies would be shaken. On their stomach, wings and beards inhabit men, woman and children, The people of the mountain.

In Kerala's fiercest struggle for land they didn't have the cultural edge to fight the cowardly.  So they were pushed more and more into the mountains. The Monsoon is their worst enemy. It visits them yearly to finish off what ever have been made by them in their own struggle for life.  In its fierce torrents often the mountains loose their  ground and  slide down like packs of cards.  Releasing from their inside elephant boulders that had taken refuge inside them for years. Taking monstrous speed in the hands of gravity the boulders crunches up everything on its way in seconds. Turning the mountain people in numbers into lumps of muddy pulp.

It's customary that Kerala school year starts in June, when the Monsoon reached our doorsteps. The mode of transport to school was walking, then. Not only for learners, for teachers also. The walk was a three kilometer  rugged mud road. In the initial days in many years we were turned back by the school authorities. The school wasn't under any threat from the Monsoon. But, many of our  teachers came form the city on the other side of the school beyond a paddy field, a low land that would be completely drowned in  the rising water from a neighboring river blocking them from coming to school.

There was no TV then, only newspapers. On many years we were tempted to walk up to the paddy only to see it completely erased from a geography familiar to us by a muddy devastating ocean.  We didn't know the difference between a river and an ocean then.

We walked back home in the rain. In groups. The umbrellas over our head, one shared by two, was just a ritual. On our way we talked about a mountain closer to our homes. 'It rumbles, a sign it would collapse soon,' one would narrate authentically, others would support. Fears rumbled in our heart when we imagined that moment our village and we in it turning into a lump of muddy pulp.

But our mountain never gave way, it still survives.

In Cape town, the tree outside my window was green in February when I moved in.  From its thick crown old leaves lost their grip and fell down. Some strolled into my veranda in the brisk Capetown wind.  Suddenly the tree went leaf- less. The winter is already around the corner.  But the new buds are aplenty on the tree, praying for the arrival of the Spring in folded arms.

Linking this post to Word Tribe Festival of Words Day 3



 









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