The rains are here again. August 12 2013

After a scorching month of May, the rains have hit Chitrapur with a boom, bang and dazzle. The ‘Holle’ (stream) that flows past our home turns into a raging torrent which many a weak-heart (or weak-knees) has flatly refused to cross. 

We have to wade through this stream to get home

As for us, we wade through it at all times only taking care to get our supplies at a time when the force of the water is not much. It is a task to try and hold up your clothes (no not to save them from getting wet, but to avoid tripping over them ) and wade through with all the bags, umberella and torch –if it is dark. But it does invigorate the soul when you reach home dripping and realise what a blessing it is to have a home in such a place. And does the water dripping from the tile roof ever bother me? No, frankly no. Probably if it was our Bombay apartment, I would have been bothered. But here, we place a couple of tubs and buckets in seemingly strategic locations and walk around or over them. It is only later that we notice that the seemingly strategic location happens to be exactly at the point where the water falls on the edge of the bucket or tub. So in addition to the bucket we now have a pool around it as well.

The late night sudden showers seem to upset the assorted population of beetles in the farm. And they rush in to buzz around the lights in the house much to the delight of Posha and Kip our cats. Many of them fall dizzily into the buckets or tubs most often on their backs and swim around crazily till they right themselves and take off again. The fireflies are all abuzz lighting up the sky and the trees around.

The electricity plays truant for hours at a stretch and we always have to be our toes to get all essentials like cell phones, laptops, emergency lights and UPS recharged in the brief intervals when the current comes a-visiting. Not to mention getting the water pump, washing machine, mixer etc all done before it departs again. (Hey it is not so bad on all the days).  

And the 2000 piece Ravensburger puzzle is out of hibernation again. We had managed to complete about half of it last monsoon. You can’t really work on the farm when it is pouring and you cant work on your laptop with the last vestiges of battery left. OK, I don’t really need a reason ..but it is fun doing the puzzle.  

Just the last 100 odd pieces left

A friend of ours braved the weather to visit us last week. We had a brief respite from the rain and the sun shone down on the emerald landscape. Our 4 dogs and 2 cats lay sprawled in the frontyard on the still damp ground basking in the sun. And all of a sudden the sky darkened and a sudden outburst of rain had all the animals pouring in thru the door.   “Hey it is raining cats and dogs” he quipped as the animals shoved one another to get the warmest place to cuddle.

The work in the farm changes drastically. All the past two months we were struggling to ensure that the trees are watered sufficiently. The mountain stream which is our source of water had dried up to a trickle. Now it is a gushing waterfall. The main focus is to prevent waterlogging in the farm. So that means continuous cleaning of the water pathways, removing the fallen leaves and silt. No more sundrying of the summer surplus – banana, jackfruit, kokum. Now it is a struggle to keep the mould from getting to the nutmegs and mace that are harvested in this season. But we have learnt new methods of doing this so it is not a problem. And Vivek has designed a superb in-house dryer - a cardboard box with a 40Watts bulb in it. The heat generated inside suffices to dry the items placed in it. (After all the research into commercial agricultural dryers – each one bulkier and more expensive than the other, we finally have a ‘light-bulb’ solution).

And so the weather continues to display its amazing shades. The sight of the swaying palms bending under the onslaught of the rain, the rich green carpet of rice saplings as far as the eye can see, all in the backdrop of the mist covered hills – Chitrapur is paradise on earth in the rains!