I was going through Outlook Traveler’s Kerala and Lakhsadweep, when I came across this book ‘Chasing the monsoons: A modern pilgrimage through India’ by Alexander Frater. Immediately, this thought came to my mind how fascinating it would be to actually beat (and not chase) monsoons over a period of two months. Tracing the exact same path as monsoons, but each time, each place beating it by a day or two. Start in Kerala, move to Tamil Nadu, go all the way to Bengal crossing through various states and then head towards Delhi. At each of these places, talk to people about their anticipation of monsoons. Be it a lowly farmer whose existence still depends on the erratic monsoons, or rich Delhi boy who lives most of the time in his air conditioned environment, everyone waits for the monsoons. Everyone loves rains.
I amazoned the book afterwards, and found this description:
“On 20th May the Indian summer monsoon will begin to envelop the country in two great wet arms, one coming from the east, the other from the west. They are united over central India around 10th July, a date that can be calculated within seven or eight days. Alexander Frater aims to follow the monsoon, staying sometimes behind it, sometimes in front of it, and everywhere watching the impact of this extraordinary phenomenon. During the anxious period of waiting, the weather forecaster is king, consulted by pie-crested cockatoos, and a joyful period ensues: there is a period of promiscuity, and scandals proliferate”
Sounds super-super awesome, ain’t it?
How about actually doing this? It’s going to be a grueling two month journey in the hottest part of India at the hottest time of the year. To use public transport all through the journey, to try and live with locals as much as possible, to document/experience their emotions along the way. I am pretty sure it is going to be incredibly difficult and demanding physically, but at the end of this what lies in front of us are lifetime of stories to recount. Who’s in? 🙂