By enakshi ganguly
Back home, we think of rain as a blessing. When it rains during a funeral, a wedding or the birth of a baby, we give gratitude to the earth for witnessing us. The rain is romantic where I come from. It’s the motion the sky makes when it kisses the earth. I can go on and on about South Asian culture, the poetry and the stories, surrounding the rain. As we experience more rain here in Austin, here are some of my favorite things to do at home that evokes the memory of my motherlands
- Food, food, food!!
- Every time it rains, people fry up samosas, brew chai, and get ready for some juicy adda (a word in Bangla which means chit-chat). Similarly, in my household, fresh hot samosas would appear, the smell of cardamom and ginger wafted from the kitchen, and a small family mob gathered in the living room. Everyone took their respective seats: elders on the divaan (like a daybed) and kids on the ground or in chairs. We ate, talked, laughed and maybe played some family games!
- Now, I definitely make comfort foods that I crave when it rains like fried potatoes cooked in cumin and tumeric. A pot of jasmine green tea. And a good book or a good show to experience with my favorite soft throw.
- Listening to music
- Like food, music also carries memory. For me old Bollywood music plays an important role in enjoying the rainy weather. I created a ‘Rainy Days’ playlist on Spotify that I play whenever it rains (and sometimes when it doesn’t). All the songs are from when my parents were my age or younger, so these are the sounds I grew up with too, while I watched the adults in the family reminisce and sing those songs during family gatherings.
- Rainy weather feels like the perfect time to sit down with a cup of hot tea and write my heart out. Where am I going to go? If I step out at all, there is a chance I’m going to get rained on, so I would much rather stay in my bed or sit at my desk to introspect, reflect, and have a good cry or laugh!
- Board games
- Another activity I love to do when there are other folks in the house feeling as competitive as me is to play board games! My favorite game is probably UNO right now, since I’m learning it and it’s very competitive. In India, we play carom which is a board game that holds an equal number of white and black disks and one red disk, known as the ‘Rani’ or the queen. Folks play using their fingers to flick their team’s disks into the goals placed at the corners of the wooden square board. The team that gets the Rani, the red disk, into the goal and/or the team with the most disks in the goals win! I loved playing that game with my Dadi, my paternal grandmother, as she is extremely competitive and taunted us with her betel stained mouth throughout! No matter how sad or bitter we were. She is such a beast.
- Cleaning and cooking
- This is not so fun, but it’s a great activity when it feels like there is a waterfall outside your windows and you have to stay in the house. I love to cook, then clean, light some incense, take a shower and eat afterwards. That just feels so much like the rituals of being at home.
What do you like to do when it rains? What brings you most joy? Share with us on Facebook, Twitter (@allgoqpoc) and Instagram (@allgoqpoc)!