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Of All the Seasons – Why Do We Romance the Monsoon?

My fondest association with monsoon is in idyllic Dehradun, nostalgic memories of which act as perfect stress busters even today. Living in my mother’s mansion had its privileges. For one, you could always see the many moods of Mussoorie – the Queen of Hills – through the day or night by just peering over the boundary wall and looking up to the nearest cluster of clouds on your right. Trying to spot Muss (that’s what the hill station is called in local parlance) in the peak of monsoon wasn’t easy but certainly a lot of fun. Raindrops tingling my head in misty Mussoorie as I walked the length of scenic Camel’s Back Road was also an oft-repeated heady romance that brutally ended when on one such trek I was horrified to discover a leech crawl up my ankle.

Walking barefoot on the freshly rained-upon soft, velvety front lawns at home is an experience that gives a long run to squishing sand in between your toes at some touristy beach.

One of the nicest things about my mother’s abode is its big windows with a view on every side. After having worked with the hospitality industry for more than two decades, I can tell you authoritatively that hotels charge a premium for a good view. So imagine rooms with wonderful views all my growing up years. My mother had nimble green fingers and we seemed to enjoy, amply, the fruit of her labour. She had developed her backyard into a mini orchard with myriad fruit trees – mangoes, peaches, plum, pears, apples, litchi, grapefruit, papaya, even grapes – that provided shade from the summer sun, swayed to the spring breeze, shed their coats in autumn and lent that extra chill to the winter.

But it was monsoon when they looked their prettiest best. Freshly scrubbed, in lovely shades of green, either cradling crystal clear pearls on their belly or with rows of diamond-like raindrops hanging from their edges!

It doesn’t take the eye of an artist to appreciate this breathtaking sight. If I was deft with the brush then you would have seen several canvases titled RAIN in my home studio. But I chose to sing an ode to it right from the time of amateurish poetry to the time when as a professional creative writer with India’s greetings card giant I sold mush to couples in as far and wide places as India, Europe, and the Americas.

Another nice monsoon sight is the lovely white wildflowers that take over a full hillside or come up around brooks. The off-white wild mushrooms along the grass or by tree trunks are quite irresistible too. I remember picking the flowers and the mushrooms in my cane basket and bringing them home. They would sit pretty in a corner as I would get lost in my Enid Blyton or Lewis Carroll through the afternoon with the big toadstool, typically, assuming a character in my favourite story.

Monsoon is also about food. Who can resist the wafting aroma of hot pakoras or delicious samosas to be devoured with tangy mint chutney and a piping hot cup of tea? Back home I would often bake the most luscious of sponge cakes (and I do have the nicest of recipes) on a rain-soaked afternoon. The smell would engulf the whole house, as I would bring the cake out to the kitchen table, drive a knife through the hot center and serve it with melted chocolate. These days I do hot aubergine slices with salsa toppings or baked cheese on potato dices with a dash of oregano and chilli peppers. The result is as mesmerizing.

The rainy season is once again here. Delhi may still not be up to it with constantly irritating constructions happening everywhere. But a short sojourn to Doon over a wet weekend is certainly within our reach.

Anybody who wields a pen almost always has a book in them. So, come rains and I am off to the family pad in my favourite valley succumbing to the muse in the lap of inspiration in Nature’s inimitable style

And what’s your dance in the rain going to look like?

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L. Aruna Dhir
L. Aruna Dhirhttp://www.larunadhir.blogspot.com
L. Aruna Dhir is a Hospitality & Feature Writer and Columnist for some of the world’s highest-ranked Hospitality publications. Her industry writings are syndicated to the finest global hospitality bodies and used as references in case studies and hotel schools. Aruna runs an exclusive channel on the award-winning media digest, BizCatalyst 360° called “Hospitality Matters” based on her hospitality industry insight and commentary. Aruna is a recognized and national-poll winning Corporate Communications Specialist, PR Strategist, and Writer. A seasoned hotelier, Aruna loves to present hospitality industry watch, insights, case studies, and analysis to her ever-increasing base of global readership. Aruna has over two decades of experience in Hospitality Communications and Brand Management and has worked with some of the best global hotel companies. In her last corporate role, Aruna was the Director – Public Relations at The Imperial New Delhi, where she was part of the core group and was responsible for re-launching The Imperial as one of the finest hotels in India and Asia. Aruna’s hotel experience includes leading the Marketing Communications and Public Relations portfolio for flagship properties at The Oberoi Group and Hyatt International. She also helped launch the Vilases as the uber-luxury experiences from the Oberoi stable. As an industry expert, Aruna has launched brands, developed training modules, created standardization dockets on business communication, written manuals, conducted Image Study & Positioning Analysis, and led media campaigns of Australian Ministers in India. Aruna Dhir’s successful work tenure with Australia’s Diplomatic Mission in India in the capacity of Media Relations Officer, saw her working on a host of never-done-before exciting projects including the hugely rewarding organisation of Australia-India New Horizons – Australia’s largest ever Country Promotion. Aruna Dhir is the first-ever Creative Writer for the Indian greeting cards giant – ARCHIES Greetings and Gifts Ltd. The milestone puts her in the league of Helen Steiner Rice and Amanda Bradley. While with the company she came out with several series of cards sold under her byline – an unprecedented feat that has not been repeated since. L. Aruna Dhir also dabbles in poetry and has to her credit two titles of Anthologies published and marketed by Archies G&G Ltd. Aruna serves on the Board of Association of Emerging Leaders Dialogues (AELD), a front-running Commonwealth Body that works towards developing leaders and influencers of tomorrow, with Princess Anne as its international President. Aruna has been engaged in freelance work for Doordarshan – the Indian National Television, All India Radio, and Times FM. Academically, L. Aruna Dhir topped at the All-India level in her PG Diploma in Public Relations and Advertising. Aruna has been a Ph.D. scholar at Jawaharlal Nehru University, akin to an Ivy League in India. She has earned a Senior Management Course Certification from the Oberoi Centre for Learning & Development in partnership with the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow; V Dimension Management Company, London & Asian Institute of Management, Manila, Philippines. Aruna Dhir has represented India to a select group of opinion-makers in the United States, as a Cultural Ambassador under the GSE Program of Rotary International. She has also participated in the IXth Commonwealth Study Conference held in Australia and chaired by Princess Anne. Aruna is a Life Member of the Public Relations Society of India A Freelance Writer since 1987, with articles that have appeared in India’s topmost newspapers and magazines, Aruna is also a blogger, a memoirist with works published on platforms like Medium and a Book reviewer on Goodreads. In her official and personal capacity L. Aruna Dhir has and continues to work on several social awareness projects – People for Animals, Earthquake Relief, National Blind Association, PETA, WSPA, Change.org, Friendicoes to name a few. Born at Allahabad (now Prayagraj), one of the world’s oldest known cities, L. Aruna Dhir grew up and did her schooling in Dehradun, regarded as a prominent seat of academia and literature. After being brought up in the sylvan surroundings of the verdant Doon valley, Aruna chose to make the Capital City of Delhi her second home.

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4 CONVERSATIONS

  1. I love this. I was talking with a friend of mind about writing. We both have a few stories that are so painful that I almost purposely try not finish them. We fear sometimes that maybe we shouldn’t put that much pain out there for others. But in the end we both know we have stories that we must write and share. Very inspiring story and I am sharing

    • Thank you, Larry. For your constant encouragement. Please know that it is highly appreciated. As for pain, I think it must be shared. For two reasons! It lightens the burden of the one who is pained. It also gives a shoulder and provided relief to others, from the knowledge that there are others who have been hurt, yet have decided to soar. Thank you once again, also for all the creativity you put out.

  2. I was thinking of you the other day! Agree….there is a book in every person who wields a pen. I believe the rain slows us down, which opens up the creative mind purging the clutter that collects. You were fortunate and blessed to have grown up in the environment you describe, which is sure to have influenced your writing! My dance in the rain is appreciation for the breath of life that lives through me and courses through my veins waiting patiently to be released through the pen. Cheers!

    • Thank you, Eileen! I feel privileged to be in your thoughts and fortunate to count you as a friend. It is always a pleasure communicating with you. Go on and keep widening your “Circle of Kindness.”

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