I Love Nature and I love all Natural Beauties one of them is Rain! (Ya...I consider it a Beauty!)I love the showers of Rain and the climate it creates...I love the Aroma of Soil when the first rains of the season wets the over heated Earth...I love the clouds, the rainbow, the orange evenings (we call it 'Khileli Sandhya' in Gujarati) and the gusty winds rains bring along with it in the monsoon...
Though some people don't like the gloomy flavour attached to the dull kind of climate during monsoon and some others do not like the water all over the roads and the mud and the need to carry an umbrella or a raincoat wherever you go, I think nobody would wish Rain should not come as soon as possible after a hot hot summer! Everybody longs for it. Year by Year summers are getting hotter and hotter and winters cooler and cooler. So this year when the monsoon started little early, in the first week of June (usually it starts in the third week of June), everybody was happy that they got a little relief from the pangs of summer heat...but after raining for continuously eight days or so the Mumbai Rains seem to have taken rest! It has vanished since a week or so. We all are now waiting for the rain to return. This waiting reminds me of my childhood days.
There are some beautiful cherishable memories associated with my childhood and the waiting for rain. There used to stay an old lady called Prabhaben in my neighbourhood and we children used to call her ‘Prabhamasi’. She was a very strict lady and we all used to get scared of her a lot. But one traditional ritual related to the Rains, she taught us and that is still fresh in my mind after about 20 years.
Come the month of May and she used to call us, all children and ask us to get some ‘Lal Mati’ (soil) and we all sat in a circle. She then used to get some water and made a small figure of a Rain Goddess called ‘Dhundhiya Mata’. Sitting idol of this rain goddess looked beautiful even though it was not in perfect shape or had any artistic touch. Prabhamasi used to stick two small white stones as DhundhiyaMata’s eyes. She used to make a little nose and little mouth also on the face so that the idol looked like a human figure. Two tiny hands and two tiny legs were also the part of the idol and DhundhiyaMata was made to sit on a tile or a flat big stone. Chundadi of a nice clean cloth was put on the head of this idol and on her forehead Prabhamasi used to put a KumKum Tika. We all children used to see the making of this idol and then her symbolic Sthapna in open air on the grounds in front of my home. It was believed that DhundhiyaMata will bring rains early and in good amount, if we regularly pour some water on her head every day and pray to her to send the Rains soon. She was called ‘Rain Goddess’ after all! Daily two to three times we children ensured that DhundhiyaMata get her share of ‘Jal Abhishek’. We enjoyed this game. It was fun to see DhundhiyaMata’s idol decaying with all that water we used to pour on her head. The custom was so. Finally DhundhiyaMata used to ensure that Rain come on time and the last remains of her idol be washed away in the first few showers of it. That is how the Visarjan of DhundhiyaMata’s idol had to take place. I still remember how I used to eagerly watch through my window how DhundhiyaMata’s idol looked in the Raining water and how gradually it used to diminish and finally only the nice clean cloth remained on the tile after all the soil used to get washed away by the rain water.
For a few years Prabhamasi made DhundhiyaMata idol and then I took on her legacy and made it sure to make the idol with my little hands for some more years till the time I got adult and got busy with my higher level study and then Job etc. As a child I always had great faith in this ritual and Rain Goddess DhundhiyaMata. Don’t know whether it was DhundhiyaMata who brought the Rains or not but then certainly we all children believed so. And we all religiously and regularly followed the ‘water-pouring on her head’ ritual with sincerity.
I wonder Today’s generation children would do so? They would hardly get any time out of their busy school schedules and then their videogame or internet sessions.
This year I feel like making a DhundhiyaMata Idol again! To call the Rain back who has vanished since a few days… (And I promise if I do so I would surely click a picture of the idol and post it here in this Blog!)