There is only one species on Earth that can go from “Sho ithenth chooda, onn mazha peythirnnenkil!’” to “Sho ithenthoru mazhaya, onn ninnirnnenkil!” in the blink of an eye. Nokkndeda unni nammal thanneya. Whenever you ask an NRI what they miss the most about Kerala, they would quote a rain song 9/10 times. There are many little habits and moments that Malayalis unwarily created, followed, and associated with mazhakkaalam. Some of the scenes that we see in every household right now, as you sip your chaaya, may or may not be listed below.
The perpetual state of hunger
This need not be necessarily associated with rain, but we can’t deny the fact that the rainy season and the wintery feels do amplify it. The craving for piping hot food, straight from the kitchen, intensifies on rainy days. Chood chor, chood meen curry, chood kappa, chood chaaya, chood kadala, chood pazhampori,… aaha! You don’t realise that you just finished your lunch an hour ago when you gear up to sniff around the kitchen looking for more food. The kitchen is always, always busy either with the preparation of food or heating up water for your weekly ritual bath. “Ushnam ushnena shanthi” will no longer work.
It’s a never-ending cycle of thinna oranga, oranga thinna!
Beds are warmer, blankets cosier and rooms darker; creating that perfect ambience for you to practically live in your bed the whole day. The moment you wake up, you are hungry and the moment your tummy is full, you want to sleep again. When the morning alarm goes off and you hear the rains crashing outside your window, you will do anything to trade in a few more hours of sleep.
That room in every veed
There is a certain room or corner in every house that becomes a makeshift place to dry clothes. The room has a smell of dampness. If you enter it in the dark, you will find yourself entangled in nylon ropes and wet clothes (baaki parennilla!). The moment the sun comes out, the clothes find their way outside in the hope to get some ‘real’ sunlight (not a brand plug-in). Then there is a competition between you and the timetable illaatha rains to see if you can save your clothes on time. And of course, the never-ending hunt for an ‘onangiya’ underwear!
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What mazha without koda!
June, along with the onset of rains, also brings around the reopening of schools. Little kuripps sorry kids, with bags bigger than their bodies struggling to hold colourful umbrellas are a common sight. If you ever go past a school during a rainy evening, you will get even more drenched with the water sliding down from their umbrellas that poke into your chest. Your shoes will get ‘chali-er’ with all the little shoes that walk over you as if you never existed. Beautiful rains indeed.
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Power cuts and family reunions
Power cuts are the best during monsoons because you really do not have the desire to switch the fans on. Mazha, kattan, powercut and your verandah. All is well until you hear a familiar “zzzzzz” near your ears and feel your soul being sucked by bloody mosquitoes. Then you have to run back inside to meet amma, acha, ammamma and all others who ‘co-exist’ with you; people you realise are there when the wifi goes off or your phone runs out of charge.
Mazha and romance
The best romantic setting. Ever. Now you can also finally sit by the window, look at the rains and imagine you are a hero/heroine out of a movie. Fell in love? Go stand in mazha. Fell out of love? No problem, stand in mazha. Everything works.
Think you have more Malayali mazhakkaalam moments to share? We’re sure you do. Do share them in the comments below. Happy mazhakkaalam!