Monday, April 12, 2010

Of Summer Showers

Today, as I got home from some grocery shopping and sat down at my desk, it suddenly started raining. You know that incredible smell of the earth cooling down, that comes before it starts raining? That’s how it has been since evening. And then it rained, and it was a sudden, short, strong burst, and now the air smells wet and clean and fresh. Sigh!

I always associate these lovely summer showers with Bangalore. In fact, some of my nicest memories of summer are in Bangalore. The first time I visited Bangalore was in the summer of 2003, which was the starting point of a trip with a whole bunch of aunts and cousins. We all marvelled at how cool and pleasant it was, right in the middle of summer. We admired how green and clean it was. We went to Lalbagh and Cubbon Park and bought saplings to take home. We walked along MG Road and Brigade Road, and had lunch at Pizza Hut, a very rare treat for us in those days.

My second visit to Bangalore was in the summer of 2004, for my IIM interviews, which were held at the IIMB campus. The first time I went to campus, it was a very bright green, and it looked brighter and greener against the grey stone and I fell in love. After my interview, my mom and I went to the charming little CCD on the campus. I remember telling her that I was in love with the campus, and it was too bad I wasn’t going to study there since I was going to go to IIMA. You know what they say about being careful about what you say, because the Gods are listening? Well, within two months I was back on campus, and this time, I was going to be there for the next two years.

The summer of 2005 remains my best summer as an adult. After a week’s break at home, I came back to a Bangalore that was raining and so incredibly beautiful. That day remains etched in my memory. I landed at the airport on a hot afternoon, but by the time I went back to campus, it had gotten cooler. I unpacked and got out on to the mezzanine area, and suddenly it started raining, and the campus just transformed into this green paradise. That night, we went to the recently opened PVR in Forum, and watched ‘Socha Na Tha’, a movie that completely floored me, and which remains a favourite to this day (and laid the foundations for a long lasting love for Abhay Deol).

That summer was lovely. I had a summer internship which was very laidback. I went to work in the morning (my work often involved spending the day organising training programmes at 5 star hotels across the city so it was rather cushy); I came out of office quite early, got back to campus, and sat at the CCD with a book in my hand and a coffee at the table till the sun went down and it wasn’t light enough to read anymore. (Till this day I  can't resist the urge to sit in an open air CCD when the weather is glorious). Later in the night, we would go out for dinner; that summer, we went out for dinner every single day, and discovered many lovely little places.

Sometimes I went skating in the tennis court. Nobody would be around and I’d skate around aimlessly for hours, just lost in the moment. I learnt to play basketball. I shopped on the streets on weekends. We got wet in the summer rain. We often had movie nights at l-square. One night, we ‘borrowed’ the projector, projected the movie on to the wall of a friend’s room, and watched a horror movie. It was an unforgettable experience. We watched a movie almost every day. We often slept on the terrace, under the stars.

It wasn’t just a carefree, happy time; those two months were almost magical, like everything else around me got suspended at the time so that I could live in that moment and experience it with an  intensity I never have before or since. Every summer since, I have thought of that summer with a sense of nostalgia and longing and wistfulness so deep that it makes my heartache just a little, for that time that is over, and will never come back again.


Chinkurli said...

The IIM-B campus is lovely so I can just imagine how much lovelier it'll look after the rains! :)

And yeah, I love summer showers too... Such a blessing!

Praveen Kandanala said...

Ha so it was you who spoiled the tennis court?
Even my best summer experience was in bangalore, it such a lovely city for summers and with stay in iimb it was just awesome. We used to venture out every weekend to various hangouts close to bangalore it was good fun.
Thanks for reminding how pleasant a summer could be!

Ramya said...

@Chinkurli: Yes, it is at its loveliest when it rains there! And thanks for dropping by :-)

@Praveen: Yeah, that was me - that is why I didn't mention my skating on tennis court activities till I passed out :p
I know, Bangalore is pretty good during the summer. You should come down sometime. How's it going in Hyd?

Chan said...

You should add a 'Like' button.

R said...

@Chan: FB is all prevasive in our lives :-) And thanks!

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