Monsoon is here. Beautiful evenings here in Bangalore and pretty nice weather too, almost everyday.
Cool evening breeze..splendid!! Having a wonderful time here, so far..so good!!!
Every monsoon brings me good old memories, particularly of a flash flood into my mind; that happened way back.. when I was still a school goer, in Kerala. These memories are like the good old gas...all it need is a catalyst to spill over!
It was the monsoon, if I remember correctly(I know...
pathetic effort to make it dramatic) it rained for 3 full days and it was still raining. We were happy as the water began to fill up the many wrinkles on the surface of the earth. (That's richly creative sentence, if you failed to notice it!)
I watched from the balcony of my home,the horizon was cloudy like lungs of a smoker, the whole atmosphere had the ambiance as you were watching it through an X-Ray film. There was no wind, it was calm, but only the sound of the rain, which resembled my classroom.
The paddy fields began to fill up.The water guzzled out through various streams into the low lying paddy fields, filling it up with mucky muddy water. It was no different from the color of the tea I was drinking.
The state declared an emergency and schools in places with flood situations were shut down. That news didn't make me happy though, cuz..school is one social setting I miss much during those erratic power cut, when sitting at home watching T.V.
The water canal or aqueduct as it is technically called , which wound up its way through the paddy fields, like a beeg python, was in its full fury.
I was mesmerized by the fury of nature, just like the curves of Monica Bellucci.
That's when one of my friend, 2 year senior from my school, who is also my neighbor decided to jump in. I watched him waddle through the water filled walk way , at times jumping like a frog from one lil puddle to the next. At times he stops, then bend down to pull up his chappals which dug into the cushy mushy muddy bottom. Watching it was fun sitting at the comfort of home.
Finally he reached my home, and made himself comfortable in the veranda.
He is our team lead because he claimed it to be our team lead.Though he was shorter, just being the senior in our school we let him have that position. "Never argue with an idiot" says my cute English madam.
Two more of my friends popped up, with a banana leaf over their heads. It's God's punishment for forgetting your umbrella. They kinda behave like Ed and Eddy from Ed Edd n Eddy cartoon show. That explains everything about them.
So we four people, set out of our home, following the foot steps of our Team lead and avoiding stepping in places, where he bends down to pull up his chappals. We reached near the flooded paddy fields.
As we sat on a compound wall and was watching the scenic flood,we saw a coconut floating in water.
"But.how does it float?" asked a genius among us.
My team lead couldn't give the curious genius, a satisfactory answer as gravity, density, buoyancy etc was way beyond his comprehension and it was all rocket surgery for him.
But having the unique ability of observation, which is not well appreciated by my teachers during exam time, I managed to give the curious genius a very satisfactory answer.
"A coconut floats in water by its antenna." I told him and he was easily convinced.
I also told him that coconuts use its antenna to find direction..just like cockroaches.
Since I was a kid, I had observed many things in and around us .At times trying things out in extreme cases. I have observed that:
1)Centipede does not have reverse gear
2)Window curtains burns faster than door curtains.
3)Its not a good idea to count biscuits before you open the packet.
This observation was made into a classic quote
"Never count your biscuits before you open the packet"-Sorcerer .
4)Never stand behind a fatso who faints during the school assembly.
5)Keep awesome opinions in physics and chemistry to yourself as the mathematical evidence to prove my point has to be evolved in the future.
6)A burp in a jar is not a science project.
Some experiments with melting plastic has, given some real natural tattoos on my hands and legs.Such is the price we gotta pay for being curious.
Anyway... seeing the coconut floating in the water gave us an idea.
We need to make a raft! A makeshift one! Everyones face lit up like a rat which saw jaggery!
We paddled, stumbled,slipped.. ran and finally reached the place, an old water pump shed, where our ingenious idea won't be overheard by parties, also called parents. Our gray cells over-clocked and being in those years, there is no shortage of logic for anything. Logic is the middle name for all of us those days..Aint it?
For building this raft..we need few raw materials
1) 5 to 7 banana plants/trees.
2)Tube from (a) tyre or ( Few ) tyre tube.
The team lead volunteered to get the first 2 ingrediants.We went into his banana plantation.The place was flooded of course.With a few cuts..splash..splash..splash... we got the banana trees/plants which is the base of the raft.The other two,of my friends, manage to dig up "our old tubes" , a swimming accessory for n00bs. Unlike we thought, they brought it to us by filling it with air.
Bamboo sticks!! that was easy..We
stole borrowed a few of them from our neighbors fence.With neighbors like these..who needs fence?
The construction was overseen by the Team Lead. Banana Tree/Plants was cut in proportion, the long bamboo sticks driven into them holding it in position, the tubes secured with ropes on the underside and roping it all together, the raft is ta...daaaaaa!!! Complete!
The team lead pushed it into the paddy fields..It floated. He stood on it..It floated...Still.
According to the Intuition of our team lead it could "Carry only 3 idiots", just like our Indian Autorikshaws!
One was left on the land, to shout, just in case something happened or we vanished from the view.
We set sail, singing..."Row Row row de raft." The team lead was the one who, using a longer bamboo pole was "driving it". On his commands we shifted our positions to angle the raft accordingly.
"Physics at large!!"
We were scared of the whole thing...but adrenaline is a real good thing, which helps us to remain stupid in such situations.No?
We moved deep into the paddy fields and..we were gaining momentum. None of us realized that we were getting drifted afar, too fast.
Only by observing the constipated look on the Team Lead's face I realized that something was not really right.His eyes was stuck on something!!
The Team lead pointed to us in the direction of the canal.
We were kinda nearing the water canal, which has attained the form of National Highway for flood water.The raft, skimmed the sides of the overflowing water and turned rapidly!! The Team lead was struggling with the bamboo pole trying to get some pole hold (something like foothold)
The raft rocked, turned and all the time, we were doing the Trepak on the raft.We were taken for a good ride by the stream of water, kinda like a roller coaster ride. There was this curve which was ahead of us, which I think my team lead was expecting, cuz he was all tensed..He said, he wanted to try a little stunt to push us out of this canal..If the plan worked, we would swing our way out of it..else..the raft will take the plunge in that curve and go under the water current. Then...its just about throwing yourself into water , try and swim else..Ciao in Arabian Sea!
When we reached that curve, everyone, had to push with the Team lead at the bamboo pole, which is our rudder, steering wheel and everything, and spun our way out of the 'stupid canal'. Force of nature can work both ways! Suck us in or throw us out!
"When life gives you a curve, use it as coat hanger"-Sorcerer
We all had a big grin on our faces.We were breathless out of excitement and relief. We paddled back to the shore.
When we reached the shore..I made another important observation
Observation: Every action has an equivalent and opposite reaction holds true even for a person who is jumping out of the raft. If you jump out, the raft moves backward and you could end up face down in water.
It was so amazing those days, when we were reckless and totally hyper. Most of the times we did things guided by sheer instinct!
Every monsoon rain bring back this memory..of an adventure..which could have gone bad!!
But then again...its an experience!
I know it was stupid!But then again...its an experience!
Makes it feel good thinking that way.