Karachiites without rain often seem akin to the villagers from the movie Lagaan – hungry for the sky to come pouring down. Monsoon is usually very cruel to this city, as even though this season arrives in the upper part of the country quite early, Karachi usually gets the leftover rain after all the other cities have had their fair share.
This year, the first traces of rain came in the form of a meager drizzle, which the ever rain-deprived people of Karachi took in with much relief and hope for more showers during Eid days. But Eid went by as dry as any other day of the year. However, with a rise in humidity, and clouds layering the city day after day, hope stayed intact for these city-dwellers and their patience was rewarded with a torrent of rain showers last night.
Even as I write this, people around me are standing near the windows, their hands extended outwards, letting their palms get wet with a second shower, which began a while back.
Karachi’s affair with the monsoon season is a love story that truly transcends time.
And Karachiites celebrate this amorous affair in different ways.
As soon as the first drop of rain makes contact with the ground, the city loses its power and KE is cussed unanimously by the citizens. But this ordeal is soon forgotten as people come out on the streets or go to their roof-tops and enjoy this blessing for Mother Nature, ignoring all their worries. People start smiling, children start laughing and merriment is in the air.
Such is the effect that rain has on this city.
In many households, joyous exclamations of “it’s raining, it’s raining!” are resonated, letting everyone know that the beloved season is here. Children run out to play in the dirty puddles on the streets, whereas grown-ups set-up chairs and tables outside to be amused by the melting sky.
Teenagers and young adults are quick to update their social media, letting the world know that they too have been blessed. Facebook is flooded with “feeling happy” emoticons, Twitter is bombarded with #rain and #RainInKarachi trends and Instagram sees a prominent increase in rain-related pictures. Those who have relatives away from home or who have long-distance relationships, tease their beloveds by sending them rain shower videos on Snapchat and Skype. Such is the way in which we mix technology with nature and enjoy the experience in full throttle.
And of course, as foodie as Karachi’s citizens are, cuisines specific to rain are prepared in homes and enjoyed with hot cups of chai. Pakoras, basini rotis, samosas – you name it. But pakoras are ever-favorite. Mothers run to the kitchen to prepare the batter of pakoras for frying. For those who don’t know how to make pakoras, it doesn’t take much; besan (chickpea powder), black pepper, salt, red pepper, tomatoes, onions, coriander, and whatever else you think you would like in it.
Or you can always get it from your nearest bakery.
A couple of years back, I remember how my family and I decided to go on a long-drive to Hyderabad, just to enjoy the first rain of the season and have the scrumptiously famous fish over there to satiate our taste-buds. It was a good outing and we made some wonderful memories – all because of the monsoon rain.
I hope this year too, the season brings with it the joviality that is associated with it and it is a blessing for all.
Happy Monsoon Karachiites!