It nourishes the soul of the earth. The tender shoots of corn are now a few inches high. Grass grizzles throughout the Kheda- I hardly remember the dry flatland this village used to be. Greenery provides fodder for cattle and adds freshness to the air. I am happy for the fields, because they are nurturing the young crops. I am happy for the groundwater levels that are slowly recharging through the monsoon. I am happy for the farmers - the food that is growing and the water seeping into their groundwater will last them all year.
It makes people smile. The weather turns cool, the wind picks up. With the coming of dark clouds I hear excited exclamations- The rain is here! The rain is coming! It gives Lakshmi a reason to dance, to bathe in the rain, lathering herself with soap and rinsing the foam...only to repeat it five more times. That's how much she loves the rain. The kids bounce up to our veranda, playing in the water as their tiny bodies inevitably shiver. Their ear-to-ear grins fight off the cold.
It brings everything to life. Everything. Not just the soil and the seeds and the children, but a whole range of organisms, some familiar, others not so much. A range of chirping birds fill the air with a varying soundtrack throughout the day. Mosquitoes, crickets, grasshoppers horde the lightbulb at nighttime, allowing the chipkali to enjoy an orgy of food. Snakes are coming out of their holes, only to be bashed to pulp by scared families. A three-foot lizard known as goli moves near open fields, away from homes. Upon detecting human presence it darts off at lightning speed.
It gives me an excuse to study. There's not much to do when its pouring outside. So I pore over Manorama's general knowledge, IMS Data Interpretation, NCERT math, logic-based word problems, Normal Lewis' Word Power, and my new favorite, Indian history. Yesterday, we watched David Attenborough's Life of Reptiles-In Cold Blood. As we learned the elaborate mechanisms that allow frogs to inhabit all sorts of habitats, I heard our very own Kheda amphibians outside. There's lots to learn, and lots of free time. So we take advantage of it.