By Ivan Menezes, Dubai
Dubai, 23 June 2010: I was in Moodubelle at the right time when the long delayed monsoon finally made its grand entry and had the thrill and joy of undertaking those activities which enthusiastic young men undertake. However, I had another passion that kept me quite busy, that of clicking pictures of nature, that too immediately after the rainy season had started.
On 3rd June 2010 when I was in the Air India Express flight from Dubai to Mangalore, just few days after the terrible tragedy at the Bajpe airport, I found that most of my co-passengers were tensed and quietly praying for safe landing. The plane took three rounds around the airport before it finally landed safely to the relief of all the passengers at around 6.30 pm.
Coming from hot and humid weather of 48-50 degrees Celsius of Dubai, I found the enchanting greenery of the coastal belt and the smell of the native soil soon after few rainy showers that made me to forget about Dubai’s hectic life and revived the nostalgic memories of the monsoon days that I had spent in my native village along with my family and friends. I was eagerly looking forward for the monsoon season to start in earnest so that the fortnight of my brief vacation would be fruitful and enjoyable.
After reaching home in the night, next day early morning along with my neighbours I went to the church for week day’s mass. It was a nice feeling going by walk in the cool morning rather than driving a vehicle. As I returned home I was delighted to see plenty of mangoes and some jackfruits hanging on the respective trees in our backyard.
I spent nearly a week attending marriages and family functions and visiting relatives. It was quite hot during the first week of June and I was wondering whether I would be able to enjoy the monsoon or not. Fortunately, it started raining from 10th June with heavy showers from the next day.
With the onset of the monsoon, it has been a tradition to go during the night with gas lights or powerful torches to catch fish and crabs that move up-streams to lay their eggs. This particular fish-hunt known as ‘ubar-dadounche’ in Konkani language has been one of my favourite hobbies during the monsoon. On 11th June, along with my neighbours, Jerry Fernandes, his son Joy and Ivan D’Almeida, i went for the ‘ubar’ and was surprised to see many other groups with torches and sickles on similar mission. Within one and half hour we could collect around 30 crabs and few ‘khijans’ and catfish (mugud). It was indeed a thrilling experience going out during the night with rain lashing out and frogs and insects making strange sounds piercing the silence of the night.
Meanwhile, i came to know that the two days Monsoon Cricket Trophy was being organised by Geleyara Balaga at Padubelle. Accompanied by Dr. Eugene D’Souza and my friend Raghu, I went to the ground with my camera and was amazed to see the enthusiasm among the youngsters. Twenty seven teams participated in this tournament. After clicking pictures of the action on the ground, we proceeded to Kunjarugiri temple. The sight from the hilltop was quite pleasing with greenery all around with paddy fields and coconut trees. I could see the Parashurama temple on the opposite rock of the Kunjarugiri being renovated. At the southern horizon I also could see the silhouette of the Nagarjun Plant at Nadikoor from Kunjarugiri.
On way back, we came across women from the stone quarry colony (Kallukutti) washing their clothes in the flowing water through the rocks. We also could observe few peacocks enjoying the monsoon weather. Halting at the bridge at Poyyadapadi i clicked some pictures of the river with muddy water. At a place next to the Padubelle temple I could notice the stream with yellowish water merging with the reddish river water. A little further I could see a group of women transplanting paddy saplings some covering with plastic sheets and one woman with ‘korambu’, the rain shelter which has practically disappeared in modern times.
During one of the rainy days I took my vehicle to Kanajar via Tnatiguri-Chitrabailu road along with my father-in-law, Thomas Alva. The road was clear and quiet with beautiful scenery with the reserved government jungle on both sides. The government has reserved this forest for the wild animals. It is said that one can observe bison, tigers, cheetahs, deer and other verities of wild animals. As i was moving ahead, my father-in-law pointed at the model of a boat on a tree. I could not understand as to what such a large model of a boat was doing on the tree. On some other day, along with my friends, i went around the Babbarya Kere which was getting filled up with water flowing into it from different directions.
Monsoon season brings out some strange edible gifts that spring out from the ground, especially mushrooms and ‘phuguds’. It is believed that the ‘phuguds’ emerges from the soft ground especially under trees and bushes due to the lightening and thunder during the initial part of the monsoon season. I also joined the group of ‘phuguds’ hunters. My wife, Shushma prepared curry of ‘phuguds’ mixed with ‘mogem’, which was very yummy.
I had the opportunity to taste most of the monsoon cuisine during the few days of my sojourn in Moodubelle such as ‘pothrade’, ‘kulta katt’, ‘guzo’, ‘ponsachyo patholyo’, ‘kuvalyachem bafath’, timaryachi chetni and conji, etc.
After my brief monsoon vacation in Moodubelle which I thoroughly enjoyed with my family and friends, I returned to Dubai on 19th June 2010 and continued my normal working schedule. I was fortunate to be in my native village during the monsoon and enjoy thoroughly the atmosphere and the traditional activities associated with the monsoon season. As far as the vacation is concerned I would always prefer the monsoon season to be close to my family, friends and the unforgettable native soil.
Bellevision Media Network