This otherwise unoccupied rooftop next to my room is a reliable temporary habitat of delight because it avails the local monkey family of a safe haven every single day for some essential quality family grooming time. You will notice it even has ideal monkey-bar coconut fronds to occupy the kids. During the monsoon like now, when the rain falls they can easily leap up into the handy Banyan over the wall behind where leaves protect them somewhat; monkey fur is user-friendly holding droplets on the tips unless heavy rain bedraggles them comically. Monkeys are good to have around – despite that is, often being a nuisance. The humans here are much more of a nuisance letting off Laxmi-bang-bangs to chase off the monks.
The cows in our street are miserable monsooners, which reveals the limits to the generosity and consideration for comfort from human to bovine family members, although I should mention that the locals – unless rampantly middle-class, show scant consideration ever for their own comfort.
The monsoon is particularly wonderful with such a magnificent view of the mountain as from my room, and especially when the room is relatively rain-proof although it isn’t: rain coming from the hillside leaks in volumes between the walls and window frames, but the view is worth it. All the houses in this small village are reasonably rain-proof:
After several nights with rain forcing in between windows and walls on the hillside, I ventured up the ravine anticipating waterfalls but was disappointed:
The monsoon has by no means ended yet, so anticipation of substantial falls can continue into the realm of clear blue skies above a verdant hill spilling oceans of celebratory bubbling silver over smooth warm rocks, dancing yellow butterflies and small white star-shaped wild flowers on the thorn bushes that conceal the habitats of small furry animals and quick curious lizards. Years ago this season regularly drew humans to gather by gender and proclivity beside ascending pool-spots with clothes to wash and bodies to bathe modestly as these people do; I wonder whether they still do or whether the life of cellphones and scooters has veiled this almost traditional delight with impatient daily demands.
However you should know that the monsoon is painfully inconvenient to poor people in leaky houses and street people – of whom there are very many around here.
The proverbial backwardness of this area is attributed obliquely to the embodiment of Siva; this arises since the immediate vicinity close to the mountain tends to receive very little rainfall – particularly in comparison with Kalasapakkam, Chengi, Tanipadi and Chengam – areas of good rainfall standing within twenty-five kilometres radius. Even though recently exacerbated by ElNino and the vagaries of Global warming in the instability of KaliYuga’s maturity no doubt, this trend nevertheless stretches back for centuries. For this reason the area has never attracted an agricultural community naturally inclined towards co-operation with natural processes, the discipline of which nurtures human intelligence, collaborative strategies and a mature civic sense. As a result we’re backward. We hardly ever do anything properly.
However ingenuity makes up for much of that.
Despite inconveniences we do appreciate a good monsoon, even if we’re not quite up to preparing ourselves for it; on the other hand we seem to enjoy living here so much that the short inconvenience and great discomfort of the monsoon may not bother most of us very much.