Saturday, July 25, 2009

*Pitter* *patter* - Part 1

(My Uncle's turtles enjoy their first splash of the season.)

(Water flowing down the windows like a waterfall. Too much rain man, just too much rain!)

(The police parade down sea-view on their horses. They're just showing-off and having fun, because they don't always get to ride cool horses in this congested city! :) )

Part 1: Rose tea, pakoras and… wipers!

Sunday, 19th July, I woke up to the pitter patter of rain. Excited, I quickly turned my head around to see the window behind me splashed with water and rain drops dancing on the window ledge. ‘The first rain of the monsoon season! Yes!’ I thought and quickly jumped out of bed, eager to share the excitement with my family. My sisters were in my parent’s room, huddled around the windows with my mother (we usually do gather there when the first drop of rain falls. It’s sort an unsaid family tradition).

Another tradition was to follow, which has absolutely nothing to do with family, but with KESC (Karachi Electric Supply Corporation). One drop of rain falls and *puff* the light goes away. I’ve just convinced (read: brainwashed) my mind to believe that light is allergic to rain; and I guess, I should leave it at that, and not elaborate over the sorry state of electricity in the city. It would spoil my wonderful rainy day story. Besides, I should say ‘Alhamdollilah’ (Thank God) for all the other blessings I have instead of mourning over the one I do not have.

It had started raining fast now and the empty plot next-door to my building was filling up pretty quickly. The workers their were washing their 'city-farm' with the rain-water and tending to their animals, letting them roam freely in the rain so that they would get a good bath. The cows were soaking in the rain, their tails still swishing like wipers despite the fact that there were no flies around to bother them (habit, I guess.) The cute baby goats were skipping and hopping around in the rain, totally carefree.
Funnily, my sisters and I were doing the same thing four floors above in our apartment: hopping around our mother, begging her to make Gulabi chai (Rose tea) and pakoray (fried balls of turmeric, onions and potato- delish!).That is also a sort of rain tradition in the family. Rose tea is made only on this occasion or, well, when we have baakarkhani (bready cakes that are dipped in the tea). My mother was more than happy to put up the tea for brewing and pretty soon a rich, wonderful aroma of rose tea filled the house.

While the tea was brewing, we decided it would be more fun to take our pakoras and chai to my Uncle house (haha! How goody-goody and sugary does that sound? Looks like its been taken somewhere outta the Little Women. ). They live near the sea, in a locality popularly known as ‘Sea-view’. The area becomes really pleasant and breezy on a rainy day, not to mention, the festive people that pop out of nowhere to party near the sea side. Most Karachites – particularly the lower and middle classes – always rush to the sea side when it starts raining, packed into overloaded buses, vans and rickshaws. In fact, on rainy days, you can see herds and herds of families picnicking on the beach, eating roasted corns (locally called butta), ice-cream, gola gunda (ice on sticks, drizzled with colorful syrups), bun-kebab (local burger- very delish indeed!) and pizza from Pizza hut (yes! Haha! It has an outlet even on the beach).

We had to take a round about route to the house in order to avoid the traffic jams and the water-logged roads, but that made it even more fun because the weather was so cool and refreshing. When we finally got to our Uncle’s apartment, we were surprised to see the furniture swimming in water and buckets scattered here and there to collect the water dripping from the ceiling. The rain was not a blessing for everyone, it turned out.
My Uncle and Aunt told us how they had spent most of the morning removing the water from the flat by wipers. Indeed, we could see more than five wipers, of different kinds and sizes, leaning against the walls. Funnily, they reminded me of knights’ swords… and my mind quickly conjured up a comical picture of my Uncle and Aunt battling against the waves, swinging and slashing their ‘mighty’ wipers, left and right, to hold the water at bay.

Anyhow, that is what we all ended up doing. Armed with our ‘mighty swords’, we worked for almost an hour and wiped out all of the water from their flat. Chocolate cake, rose tea, sweets and namak parey (salty biscuits) was our reward. Yummy! While we ate and sipped our hot teas, the last drops of water on the floor dried, and it seemed, now, that the rain was going to stop. But to enjoy the atmosphere even more, we decided to visit another Uncle of ours who lived a couple of streets away. He has a large lively family with eight kids, including twin girls who make a lot of delicious desserts and snacks. What the hay! Let’s go! This rainy day (ironically) was becoming more and more enjoyable by the minute. I would remember it forever, I thought contentedly as we drove to my Uncle’s house. I did not know how right I was – well, until a couple of hours later.


Sammy said...

I loved this piece! Your thoughts are finally coming through in words, I'm referring to the image you gave of Uncle battling against the waves. So cute and so you!

The pictures are lovely especially the first one and the second one, okay wait all four were picturesque.

I'm waiting for the sequel now. :)

Cookie said...

Aaaaw... you flatter me!Glad you liked it. The first picture has been stolen from Google, by the way, but it fits so perfectly! haha! The sequel is around the corner.