Ooty to most people conjures up images of rolling hills, deep dark forests, gurgling streams, not to mention the ubiquitous botanical gardens and the lake , all bathed in glorious sunlight, or at the most a romantic mist. But then, a vast majority stays here only for a few days as tourists. Very few people actually have the privilege to live in the queen of hills for most of their lives and therefore know that its not quite the same at all times of the year. We have the unique distinction of being one of the very few places to receive both the south west and the north east monsoon in full spate. That simply means that it rains most days of the year.
I have often been surprised by people in the plains longing for the rains. For me it has always been something that has to be borne stoically. Going to school everyday in the seemingly endless, ice-cold, rain with the wind howling in your ears is not really something to be longed for. Most of the times there is no electricity for days on end because some tree has fallen on the electric lines somewhere, the clothes take weeks to dry and everywhere there is the smell of dampness. Ooty during the monsoons is a morass of mud and water.
The most beautiful fragrance on earth, when the first rains hit the dry, parched earth, to give it life, was something I had never experienced in ooty.
The term ‘Magical Monsoon’ has never made sense to me before until now. I am in Cochin where the monsoons have burst forth in all their glory. It rains and rains and rains all day and all night. There are very frequent power cuts. Clothes don't dry, buses dont come on time. I don’t feel home-sick anymore. I’ve just realized that the rain can actually be beautiful. Especially while standing under an umbrella with a friend, eating ice cream and watching it pouring down on a gray choppy sea.
Im waiting to go and rediscover the magic back home in Ooty.