The sky is low, the clouds are mean…


Monsoons bring a deluge of childhood memories! The cold and wet mornings, start of the new academic year, fresh smell of new textbooks and notebooks, long interesting book wrapping sessions, pasting name slips on the neatly wrapped books, new umbrellas with carefully chosen beautiful glass handles with a mild aroma, paper boats… all were part of the onset of monsoon.

The heady, pleasant fragrance of champa flowers and jasmine flowers added charm to this season. Most girls in the class would adorn their long hair with all these sweet-smelling flowers.

Rains never stop during monsoon in Kerala and when it makes a pause, the trees would still rain. The teacher’s voice would sometimes fade away in the pitter-patter on the roofs. Distant rumbling of thunder in the evenings, the ever singing crickets and frogs were June’s dear companions. Evenings were warm and happy family time enjoying supper and stories. June has never been a quiet girl. She chatters, babbles, rambles and rumbles like a school girl.


The far end of our street facing the Bassac river, on a rainy day

The rains are here in Phnom Penh too. Today the sun never came out, the sky looks dark and dull.The sombre skies and the weeping clouds blanket my spirits too! Pathetic fallacy is playing its part. There is something heavy in the air. Memories of my father and our happy life in Ponani rained non stop, flooded in.

At times it was so close to a feeling that it’s real, he’s here somewhere around. It was like Charles Lamb‘s ‘Dream Children: A Reverie’; just a dream, but unlike his reverie mine was not ‘what it might have been‘; it was what it really and blissfully had been and unfortunately never to be returned!

When I was jolted back to reality, a sense of regret and grief gripped me . Coincidentally it’s Father’s Day today.. It may be true that those who have left us to their heavenly abode shower their love as gentle rains. Fortunately poetry, as it always does, glides in like a balm. I got drenched in Dickinson spell today. That makes me feel better. How different is her ‘The sky is low, the clouds are mean’, from the cheerful ‘ Summer Showers’!!

The sky is low, the clouds are mean,
A travelling flake of snow
Across a barn or through a rut
Debates if it will go.

A narrow wind complains all day
How some one treated him;
Nature, like us, is sometimes caught
Without her diadem.

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