There are a hundred emotions that we experience daily. And, while some emotions are faint, there are others that linger on. For me, that lingering feeling is the feeling of nostalgia.
For years, this feeling of nostalgia was too complex to explain. This was until the day I googled it and found out that when simply put, nostalgia is a sentimental longing or wistful affection for a period in the past. That day, I was grateful to have learnt something new, and also for the person that was able to put my feelings into words better than I could.
Every season brought along a new wave of nostalgia. And, although it was 'new', the truth was that it was the same old yearning that showed up every time the seasons changed.
I once read a quote by writer, Alida Nugent that said, “You still crave lemonade, but the taste doesn’t satisfy you as much as it used to. You still crave summer, but sometimes you mean summer, five years ago.”
And rightly enough, growing up in Goa, summer nostalgia often means saving whatever little money you could to purchase orange ice popsicles on a humid day, and winter nostalgia is a reminder of sleeping on Mama’s lap during the Christmas midnight Mass.
If you look close enough, every story boils down to childhood nostalgia because that is where life, as we know it, begins.
This year, June came and monsoon nostalgia was here even before the rains were. I made a new monsoon Spotify playlist to help me beat the bittersweet monsoon blues, but somehow, the one that I had made in 2021 felt as good to listen to as it did back then. Maybe it was because I was the same person I was back in 2021 – just two years older.
Monsoon nostalgia is different. It’s a reminder of a simpler time. Schools began in June and the thunder was an alarm that would never tire. Going to school adorned in all things new was great, but it was only a matter of time until the brand new umbrella gave way (or got lost for good).
There was so much to notice on the wet roads when the foot on the accelerator was not yours and you had the liberty to look around. Even if nothing else stayed constant, the two little eyes peeking through the grills of the moving bus did.
Somedays, I would go home and tell my mother a hundred stories of all the things that I saw on the way, and, other days, the window seat was not mine to lean onto. So, on those days, my curious eyes followed the simple movement of the bus wipers.
While the smell of the monsoons, known as petrichor, wafted about, most Goan houses had an added whiff of boiling water on the stove for a hot bath. This was an essential which helped us sleep like babies whenever the electricity decided to take the night off and mosquitoes came in to party.
Maybe it was the warmth of the hot bath that caressed us to slumber, or maybe it was the newspaper fan that our parents would tirelessly swing over our sleeping bodies that did the trick.
Every season brings a new wave of nostalgia. And most times, nostalgia is known to grab your hand and take you down a familiar lane. Sometimes all roads lead home, and sometimes, as Alida said, home means home, ten years ago. Perhaps it’s the design of nature or just the way of life, but like I rightly read once – eventually everything connects.
Yesterday I saw two little eyes looking out the bus window. And, although they looked nothing like mine, I know that someday, they will relate to this ballad to monsoon nostalgia.