Summer has been beating down upon us with her usual diligence and fervour. However, the last three days have been unusual. The mornings have been pregnant with expectancy, the afternoons hot and muggy, the evenings windy and leaden-skied. Yes, against all odds, it has been raining (drizzling, anyway) in Begumpet. Wednesday and Thursday weren't very great productions, a lot of wind reeling drunkenly hither and thither, fatal hoardings, but very little by way of precipitation.
But today, finally, the weather decided that it had had enough of the thillana variety stunts and tried to settle down for a proper katcheri. A hush descended over all the land, there was no wind to speak of, the setting sun turned syrupy golden.
And then, quietly, it started to rain. As showers go, it wasn't much to speak of. Garden sprinkler variety output. But it did leave everything wet, and green, and squelchy, which is always good.
We whipped out the trusty Powershot S45 and started clicking like there's no tomorrow. The lights went out, and mercifully put an end to all the lingering air conditioners. Quite appropriately, the laptop launched into bole re papiihara (YouTube, you can find the full audio and lyrics here). Who are we to argue with Fate? We lined up a bunch of "rain" songs and let fly (1).
The kids from the building were playing galli cricket downstairs, and their easy Hyderabadi admonitions floated upstairs, "What re, vy your dooing li' that li' that?", "Notredee-notredee-notredeeeee! Rrrredeeee!!!" . Presently, it stopped drizzling, so we hauled ourself onto the roof to see what was to be seen.
Per usual, the cupolas of our local Kremlin, the Hyderabad Public School, gleamed creamily in the distance. The grotesque new foot overbridge butted its way into our picture, and someone seems to have spilt a palette of watercolours on the sky. After some time, this fellow came fluttering by and with what seemed like visible relief, perched on a handy construction rod.
It was quite tired, wet, and frazzled. It sat morosely there for a bit, incessantly wagging its tail and shaking out the droplets from its fuzzy breast. Eventually, it decided that enough was enough, and let out a few experimental trills. Having discovered to its apparent astonishment that all was in working order, it flitted off towards Hussain to catch the passing 1021 Dn Konark Express, itself all wet and gleaming liveried. It seems like it was this, but alack, we were too busy trying to photograph to notice whether the supercilium was supercilious enough and so on...
And then, the lighting of the lamps...
1. There are so many of them...
- bole re papiihara perennial favourite in miyaan ki malhaar
- kahaan se aaye badraa from Chashm-e-baddoor, which we don't listen to as often as we should
- ghir ghir aaye badariyaa kaari, from Sardari Begum, a relatively orthodox rain song
- rim jhim gire saawan (YouTube) from Manzil, of course, even if it isn't (is it?) a rain raagam. Visually, we like the one which Lata Mangeshkar sings, with Amitabh Bachhan and Moushimi Chatterjee wandering through the rain in a stunningly pretty Bombay. For a number with no "skin show", it is stunningly erotic, blows your mind away.
- ek bas tuu hi nahin, a Farhat Shehzaad poem set to miyaan ki malhaar and sung by Mehdi Hasan. Not a raing song, per se, but love this one, because it taught us to (sort of) identify miyaan ki m..