June first is always a memorable day for Kerala ,
its when school reopens ,for a state with 100 % literacy that's an exiting day indeed .
though Iam a Keralite
I studied in Madras but every year during this time I would be in Parappanangadi in Malappuram district in my ancestral house in Kerala and i would share the excitement of my cousins who studied there .
Our school would open only by June first week .
Days before the D day parents would make a beeline to the local textile shop to buy the uniform clothes give it for stitching
( the school mercifully allowed them to do so unlike these days where the school insists on a package deal ),the shopping spree would also include pencils pens geometry boxes school bags lunch boxes and above all umbrellas .
how could one exist without those as the famous Kerala monsoon would come by June first .
The sweltering torpid heat of April and May where ripe mangoes would fall from trees ,ponds would go dry ,and the grass give a burnt look ,pregnant ,jack fruits would be split open to gorge on their sweet insides ,the holidays would be languorous slow and lazy as it loomed long and we would mostly be on trees rather than on Terrafirma by mid May the heat would be sweltering and people would wrinkle their foreheads and squint their eyes to look at the horizon for clouds .
A few summer showers would only make matters worse as the heat rose from the ground but the number of trees gave a lot of shade too .
The timing of the monsoon in Kerala is really amazing .
One expects the south west monsoon to set in by may end from the southern tip of Kanyakumari and slowly weave its way through kollam ,Allepey Ernakulam and then to Calicut and then upwards to Goa , Mumbai and later across the country to race to west Bengal by July .
Alexander Fraser wrote an excellent travelogue called chasing the monsoon where he would just wait for the clouds before he rushes to the next place by train or bus for it to arrive and all the way upto Kolkata ! great travel writing indeed .
so by end of may the distant rumbles of thunders would be heard like the distant drumbeats of an advancing army ,
strong flashes of lightening and drenching short showers would leave us in a frenzy of happiness as we frolicked in the green pond
water snakes would peep from the weeds as exited as us with the arrival of rains
The birds would chirp happily and the old Namboothiri ladies would hurry home with their bamboo umbrellas covering their face and head as they returned from the temple .
Mostly every June first morning the school children in their new uniforms would reach their schools wet as those days they walked all the way about 4 to 5 km and rains never failed to baptize them
These days rains aren't so punctual they are inconsistent but by June 15th one can be sure Kerala can be seen only through a rainy specter and this would last till august
I would wave my cousins goodbye as the rains poured and the lightening flashed and quietly try to go out with an umbrella and my mother would yell at me to go in and start doing some work as schools are opening shortly
i love Kerala rains