They hate the rain in London

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,

Petrichor

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

But rain-dancers

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.

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