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A typical city evening! Late June or perhaps July. It is raining cats and dogs. Scores of people brave the puddles and slush to reach their destination. Some, on their way, having finished work or about to, as they head home or about to wrap up a full day at work. It is a common sight to watch an autorickshaw passing by, splashing muddy water on the passers-by, walking alongside the moving traffic or waiting at the bus stop to catch the shuttle.

A few leap across taking big strides to catch a bus but end up getting drenched in the thick downpour. Some reach home drenched, trying to wash off the mud and squeeze out the excess water from the clothes. The squeaky shoes tell another story. Repeat, the following day. Welcome to the Monsoons in India!

If you happen to look outside beyond the pouring rains, there is an envelope of green that covers nature like a soft wet blanket. It seems as if, the monsoons awakes nature from a deep slumber and the vast expanse of dry land turns into a beautiful lush green picturesque landscape with the soaring temperatures of summer on the wane in most cities and the pastel monochromes of summer attire making way for bright multi-coloured hues of the rainy season. Emerald it is everywhere, just like the fascinating gemstones – the most intense and radiant green cover that nature can ever boast of, at this time of the year.

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Farmers of our country welcome the monsoon rains, notwithstanding the violent storms and subsequent landslides that have the potential of sweeping away entire towns or villages. This is because about 70% of the population of this agriculture-based economy of the world depend on these winds for irrigation. Besides, a considerable amount of the entire electricity consumption in India is also generated by water power provided by the monsoon rains. This year the much-awaited monsoon is said to have just hit the Kerala coast this week, which will ensure that rivers run full, mountains awake after a long sleep and the land actually sparkles with waterfalls, lakes, streams and vibrant green foliage all around. And, green is the colour of harmony, and the one colour that the human eye can never see enough of!

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We know that green is the colour of springtime, which continues through to the monsoons, and heralds prosperity and harmony in nature. But it has also, for centuries, been the colour of beauty and of constant love. In ancient Rome, green was the colour of Venus, the goddess of beauty and love. And today, this colour still occupies a special position in many cultures and religions. Green, it may be noted, is the holy colour of Islam. Many of the states of the Arab League have green in their flags as a symbol of the unity of their faith. The colour green also has a high status in the Catholic Church, where it is regarded as the most natural and the most elemental of the liturgical colours!

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In nature, green symbolises life, love and the elemental joie de vivre. Pliny mused that that green gladdened the eye without tiring it. Many agree that green is a colour that always changes somewhat between the bright light of day and the artificial light of a lamp!

Say what you will, but green retains its’ lively nuances in all its variations, quite like the classic song by Louis Armstrong – that great Jazz improviser of all times, singing in his gravelly voice, “…I see trees of green, red roses too, I see them bloom, for me and you, And I think to myself, what a wonderful world.”

Fresh. Vivid. And never monotonous. The song as well as the colour!

(Linking this with the Write Tribe Festival of Words #4-Day6)

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