The Rainy Rainy Fall

Thursday, 29 October 2009 00:58 by salim

This probably is the rainiest fall that I have seen after coming to the US. But, coming from one of the rainiest place in earth, I have always had very different feeling towards rain than most of my colleagues and friends here.

Kerala gets an average of 3000 MM of rain an year mostly from two monsoons. One of the main things that fascinated me when I first came here was the very distinct seasons. Back in Kerala we have only two seasons. The rainy season (monsoon from June to November) when it rains all the time and the dry season when it rains only every other day.

The South-west monsoon comes to Kerala almost always the day when schools open after midsummer vacation (one of those British legacies which we still continue for reasons beyond my comprehension, but that is in another post). The correlation is actually uncanny. If the government decides postpone the school opening for any reason, the monsoon will also get postponed! Anyways, when it starts, it rains for several days without a gap. One of the main things between the monsoon and the rain is the noise level. Well, I wouldn’t quite classify it as noise. It is very loud, but it is also quite rhythmic and sometimes even melodic.

When I listen to rain, even here, I try to identify the different sounds it makes when it falls on different surfaces. Each kind of leaf has a very distinct sound when the rain drips falls on it. The long tender closely weaved coconut leaves makes an almost hissing sound. The huge oily Taro leaves makes a very bass ringy tone. The leaves of jackfruit tree makes a sound almost like a kettle drum (well more like a Chenda). it is like a huge percussion orchestra. May be that is how we got our affinity towards percussion.

The rain while continue unabated for several days, it changes it intensity from time to time. Almost like waves. The sound rise and fall periodically. Sometimes, the rain becomes almost a shower and the rhythm becomes very truncated. Soon, there will be a rumble, almost like a train coming from a distance… the next wave of rain. One can feel it comes closer and closer, soon the sound engulfs everything else. Yet another wave….

Sometimes I do miss the monsoon rain. So, these periods of fall rain, while much less in strength makes me feel home.

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May 15. 2010 20:47

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