A monsoon fantasy
I live in the outskirts of a semi-desert. It usually doesn’t rain much here. And when it does, it’s seldom anything bigger than a few drizzles. In fact, it didn’t shower at all for a few years in the earlier part of this decade. When it finally rained one day, I couldn’t remember whether I had an umbrella!
This year though it has been different. Pleasantly, it has rained quite regularly. And not just drizzles. Some days, you can actually call it a pour. No, it’s not quite the monsoon. How can it be when the temparature outside is in the single digits? It is, of course, monsoon in Desh. As I look outside my window and see a barren, red earth getting soaked, I imagine clouds gathering over a bustling city.
Dear reader, let’s forget our troubled politics today, and fantasise about a monsoon day in the city.
Let’s focus on some of the citizens of this megalopolis. We see a housewife rushing back from the market. We see schoolkids buying star-fruit and jhalmuri from a street vendor. We see an office worker on his boss’s errand looking apprehensively at the sky. We see some street kids looking expectantly at the sky.
And while we see them, we hear Borisho dhora majhe shantiro bari.
Then we zoom into a particular citizen. A young man. Maybe a university student. No, perhaps a bit older. He probably works in a bank or a multinational. Perhaps he is an aspiring writer or an artist. Whatever he does, on this monsoon day, he is alone. He thinks Ei meghla dine ekla ghore thake na je mon.
We now turn to a girl who lives in one of those high rise buildings. She is at home. She hasn’t seen him for a while. Maybe her parents don’t approve. Maybe they had a fight. But on this rainy day she cannot wait any longer. Maybe she sends an sms. Maybe she sends a message through gchat. While she contacts him, we hear Rimjhim ei srabone.
It is about to rain in the city. We see a mother picking up her kids from the school – getting a rickshaw is going to be very hard today. The office worker is definitely late for his errand – an irate boss awaits him back at the office. Schoolgirls don’t want to be late and face angry mothers, but schoolboys are looking forward to playing in the rain. As the city awaits the imminent rain, we hear Sraboner meghguli.
Our hero has received the message. They are going to meet somewhere. Maybe an icecream parlour? Maybe a coffee shop? Maybe a bookshop?
Wherever it is, she imagines how the date would be. Maybe she could have been on the roof. Or maybe in the garden. Dear reader, just in case you are not familiar with the Bollywood style of storytelling, we are about to enter a dream sequence (or, depending on how raunchy you want to get, an item number): Tip tip barsa pani.
Our couple meet, and, well, let’s see what they could be doing:
After an afternoon in the rain, it’s evening. It is time to say good bye. Or is it? She doesn’t want to let him go. Or maybe we could have some maan-obhimaan in this love story. Maybe there is some misunderstanding. Maybe an old boyfriend has showed up. Whatever it is, she is begging him, Ei brishti bheja raate chole jeo na.
Yes, yes, I’m aware that this is not very flattering to the girl. But hey, in my defence, firstly, it is a male fantasy, and secondly, it is in firm Desi (Bollywood-Dhallywood) tradition.
Back to the fantasy then. How can one refuse that kind of seduction? So there is happy ending. Well, you have to imagine the happy ending, because, fantasy or not, classic Desi films would have lots of symbolic shots, and absolutely no hanky panky – after all, you could watch it with your parents! So, let’s imagine a happy ending while listening to Eto kachhe dujone.
And finally, a monsoon night falls over the city – Brishti nemecche.
(Thanks to my best friend with whom another rickshaw ride from TSC to New Market during a monsoon afternoon is long over due).