Raindrops keep falling on my head

A couple of weeks ago, I got up in the morning to what was an absolutely beautiful day. Imagine waking up in Muscat to the sound of rain on wooden shutters and the fresh wet earth smell if you lean out.

The grass looked greener than ever, the flowers washed clean of any dust, and of their heads too in some cases, and the sea was a deep blue-grey which kept changing colour as the rain came in.

I decided now was the perfect time to go to the gym. What can I say? Cloudy, rainy days do to me what caffeine and sunshine probably do to you. It fills me with energy, puts me in an ‘I can do anything’ mode and I can’t stop feeling happy for no particular reason.

Perhaps this has something to do with my childhood. I always had this uncontrollable urge to go out in the rain the minute a downpour started. The unpredictable giant storms where I grew up (called Kal Baisakhi ) would have the sky go black in a few moments while everything quietened down, almost in anticipation of the loud thunder and torrential rain to follow. It always felt like a celebration of rain as the creator of all life.

And that used to be literally true in the old Bollywood movies. Watching films growing up, we couldn’t help but notice that if it rained and the hero and heroine got caught in it and had to take shelter, a baby would be born nine months later.

The only reason visiting Scotland was number one on my bucket list since I was a teen was because of a ghost film which probably had three-quarters of it shot in the rain. The night scenes on the shores of stormy seas, the darkest of clouds rolling over jagged mountains, forbidding stone castles, and the incessant rain washing the vast glens are all as clear in my mind as the day I saw it. I have no idea what the movie was called but it was as beautiful as it was scary.

Drives in the rain in India along the winding mountain roads of the Western Ghats, where the little stream from summertime turns into a raging river in the monsoon that climbs up to road level, are memories that will never fade. Rain so fierce that the car wipers almost seem to give up against the curtain of water and you have to stop at a small roadside tea stall for a hot cup of tea waiting for it to let up...these make it to my list of favourite things.

Even after reaching the concrete bowels of Ruwi where my office is, I was still unreasonably tempted to sing. As I was about to get out my car, beatific expression intact, I got a call from a friend. From Ireland originally, his first response to my (presumably lilting) hello went like this: “Why the heck do you sound so happy? It’s pouring down, the traffic’s awful and it’s only going to get worse!”

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