Margazhi [winter], is the most beautiful month in the Tamizh calendar! Lord Krishna says that he is the month of Margazhi from which one can imagine the beauty and sanctity of this month.
Here comes Margazhi, a Ms. Cool. Under her wet spell, the wind becomes frosty and the earth gets laced up with mists. The tinkling sounds of a temple bell lacerate through the silence of morning, rummage though the sky and wake up the Sun to hitchhike early to the earth to dispel the lingering darkness.
The courtyard of my house is mopped with cow dung and there blooms a variety of ‘Kolams’ [ground patterns made of rice flavor]. A figurine of Lord Ganesha, artistically made out from a clump of clay, is sitting like a king at the center of a peacock Kolam, sporting a shoe flower on His head. Wrapping up mufflers over their heads, a band of oldies [one of them has a Harmonium hung around his head by a strap] is passing through the dark streets, singing ‘Bhajans’. Sure, Margazhi, an auspicious month, is full of religious fervor and special poojas at temples.
Suddenly, it starts raining… raining like elephants and lions as if the legendary Arjun strikes the earth with his ‘Varna panams’ [rain of arrows]. My grandma speaks in non-sequiturs. “Why, rain in Margazhi! Like people, Nature too goes awry. Kalikalam [kaliyuga]”. Grinning at granny nonchalantly, I look out of the window. The park across the street is in puddles. Meadows over there greet the rain with a flourish and drape themselves in sheets of water. Mango leaves, dancing in the rain, try to hold the rain water in their bosoms.
The big, sturdy Tamarind tree at the entrance to the park looks brighter than ever as the tree has now taken its long missed bathing.’ Do you want a cake of soap, dear Tamarind?’ I whisper. Crows come in troops. Using the Tamarind as a transit camp, they dry their soggy wings by brushing them against the rough surfaces of the tree’s branch. They, then, fly through the rain and descend on the front yard of my house in search of feeds. Rain water wash away all the magnificent Kolams, but not the clay-made Ganesha whose shoe flower, like an umbrella, still protects Him from the rains.
It’s only drizzling now. Streets get deserted as people making them shut in their homes and curl up in the beds. An indolent lot! The ‘Bhajan Band’, winding up their ‘operation-gods-awaking’, now takes refuge in the awning of a window. “It’s bad… this rain devil. It brings to naught all our activities,” snarls a group of laborers while striding towards their homes. I’m puzzled. ‘Why rain becomes such an anathema to people? When birds and other creatures greet rain and choke themselves in the water falling down from above, why the human beings frown even at a small drop of rain? Why we have such an ombrophobia not knowing the fact that one dies temporally if one has no heart for Nature’? I moan mawkishly.
“Never mind the rain, buddies. Come out of your shelters. It starts raining again. Let us go, drench ourselves in the downpour and get rid of all our impurities, both physical and mental. Sure, the rain-goddess will give you a new vigor and happiness if you allow her to choke you with water. Anyone who says sunshine brings happiness has never danced in the rain.” I shout at the empty streets and slammed doors. However, no one hears me out except the crows that still move around my house enjoying the down pour.
Images Courtesy: Google