July is here and the monsoons have come to God’s own country. The pattering of the raindrops on the window and the wind whistling in the night used to keep me awake for hours. It has this soothing effect and it could cleanse our spirit. Since Bahrain schools had their vacations in June and July, I never missed the Kerala monsoons. Schools in Kerala open at that time and the kids are so excited with their new school bags and books. The rain would make them fantasize their schools would be flooded but that was a rare case. I used to wish to, because that’s when I can play with my cousins the whole day. Playing after school was just not enough for us. By 6pm, we had to get into our home right before the prayer time.
The trees in my courtyard are bright green in the rain. Bright mangoes hanging from them glowing in the sun. The smell of rain on the mud. The feeling of wet grass on my feet. Bushes of tulasi plants flaunting theirs flower buds and my Mom plucking the leaves to make a garland to take to the temple for the Lord Krishna idol. Everything about the Monsoon was my childhood and I loved it.
It is also the month of Karkidakam. It is also called Ramayana Masam. People used to pray to God to prevent disaster by Climate during the ancient times. Some traditions have changed and the prayers have changed too with time. This month is dedicated to reading Ramayana for getting rid of bad omens and having meals which is a mix of rice and medicinal herbs called karkidaka kanji. Also people pay respects to their ancestors on the dark moon day (Amavasi) by giving vavu bali in temples close to holy river or sea.
It is a relief for everyone after months of scorching heat. The roads become slushy and trains would be so delayed. But still Karkidaka Month has its own significance to Keralites.