They hate the rain in London
Because it means dark, gloomy days
No sunshine, football, or picnics
And house arrest in stuffy, humid rooms.
They hate the rain in London,
But miles away, in the land of the generous
Sun, which to them is the land of
Elephants, and snake-charmers and naked brown children,
Of which they were once kings,
We love it.
We love it because it means zephyr
On our sun-cooked faces,
Assuaging our stench-assaulted nostrils,
Sweet heavenly nectar
Washing away our saline earthy sweat.
It means skies with a dim blue-grey glow
Instead of the blinding sunlight,
A primordial air-conditioner
Which doesn’t give in to our voltage fluctuations,
Sealess waves gliding
On tarry gravelled roads.
India is not the land of snake-charmers
Flocking out on their terraces
Without gumboot or raincoat
Kicking the water, splashing, revelling
In the unfathomable skies
Crashing down on earth.
We love it because it means football in the mud,
Fleeting boats adorned with Chennai droughts and Bihar floods
In the fleeting rainwater lakes,
Picnics in the balcony on folding-beds
With steaming hot tea and spicy warm pakoras
Complete with a mist spray from the rain-assaulted railing.
It means breathing air again
Not the fumes filled with sulphur,
and even though afterwards our potholed roads
Become a second Yamuna, and the light-loving mosquitoes
harass us in the dark, we love it
While it lasts.