Wednesday, 3 August 2016

The Best and the Worst of Goa Monsoons

Coming from Pune, I thought I knew all about the monsoons “You’ll see,” Goans prophesied darkly when I gaily remarked how much I was looking forward to the monsoons. The summer in Goa was so suffocatingly humid, that only the thought of the monsoon kept me going while the sweat rolled down my body at 7 am in May. And then the monsoons came! Now I know.

One of the few pictures I didn't steal from the Internet

The Best 

The weather is cool, even cold sometimes, and I remember thinking I had almost forgotten what cold felt like during the summer. I get to wear sweaters, huddle in my Mexican blanket, and drink endless cups of chai. Perfect for introverts who prefer to never leave the house, and now have an excuse not to.

Me to a T.. until i have to leave the house

Also I don’t have to change my clothes multiple times in the day because they’re soaked in sweat. The world is lush with greenery, bursting with fresh, rain drenched life! It’s hard to imagine anything more beautiful. We found a new church to go to Mass too, and riding down the little roads framed by green was like bursting into a storybook, or one of those gorgeous, larger than life, aesthetically fascinating movies like Avatar or Life of Pi or The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.

Strange movie.. and yet feels like a vivid, vivid dream

The Worst 

Mold! Mold, I tell you, everywhere! On my shoes, on my clothes, on my bags, on some books, on the walls. I feel like I smell mold when I put on my helmet. Ugh. Clothes take forever to dry, but if anything stays wet, welcome to the world of mold! (Oh shoot, I just remembered that I had some wet money in my rain jacket pocket this morning. So I guess I have mold-covered money too.)

I'm not even joking

Riding a bike in the rain- well I thought I used to do that in Pune. I’d wear a rain poncho (kinda like wearing a plastic bag), and even if I forgot it and it started raining, I had at least five minutes before the rain got heavier.

This might work in Pune

It was more of a steady drizzle that would let up in 15 minutes. In Goa, now. How do I describe this? You feel a drop of water. Within the next five seconds, it is as if it is Holi and your upstairs neighbour is gleefully emptying buckets and buckets of water directly on to your defenceless head. Which leads to my next point…

Exactly like that

Exremely attractive rain gear. I used to avoid even the thought of rain pants in Pune because although I wouldn’t call myself particularly concerned with fashion (I’m sure my sisters would call that the understatement of the year), even I had some standards. Well, standards just got thrown out the window for the monsoons, as every time I leave the house, I don the ugliest baggiest most shapeless pair of rain pants I have ever seen (apart from all the other ones), and then my rain jacket, hood, helmet, backpack with personal rain cover, and rain poncho over everything. Quite the sight.

Riding in the rain: While a gorgeous adventure in theory, it’s more like a fraught-with-danger, almost foolhardy death wish in reality. Between the puddle covered potholes, the rain so heavy I can hardly see the road ahead of me, the likelihood of skidding on the steep gravel-covered wet roads while hitting the brakes, the other big vehicles that splash water over me, and the water seeping into my clothes in spite of my ugly rain gear, you might hear a lot of ‘Praise you, Jesus’s (our volunteers trained response to scary/difficult/challenging moments) and my team mate singing loudly ‘ LET IT RAIIIN DOWN, OPEN THE FLOODGATES OF HEEAVEN.. oh wait, just kidding, Lord, what I meant was ‘LET IT STOOP NOW, CLOSE THE FLOODGATES OF HEAVEN!’.

Who knows what might happen?

In conclusion, Goa monsoons are STILL better than the oppressive summer. Anyway, it’s going to be September soon, and the beginning of the coolest, driest, most beautiful time of the year in Goa. Woohoo!

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