written a couple of weeks ago in Pollachi...
The monsoon is outside, I’m inside, dry, lying on a bed of coconut husk.
Pollachi is in the southern end of Tamilnadu, in a valley between two mountain ranges to the west and the east. The monsoon hits twice here, coming in from both directions.
Coconut palms thrive in this region, and are, by my witness, the most extensively farmed crop by far. They have a wide network of shallow roots so they collect and store water quickly from sudden downpours.
And the torrent continues outside.
So we were on our way on the two block walk home, just talking about the unnecessarity of having a driver waiting for you in a car outside after you drive two blocks to see your brother whose house you can see from your doorstep, when the rain hit and we sprinted back to the car to dive into the dry back seat. Sam’s dad Ram came running out of the house to join us and we rode together in shelter back to the house where my body and shoes became soaked on the 12 foot awkwardly-through-the-confusingly-latched-gate walk to the house, even under the umbrella we shared.
We are living in a suburban community. Pollachi is a suburb of Coimbatore, and this house specifically is in a quiet neighbourhood of friendly folks and garlic salesmen with our family all within walking distance. Popping in for meals, planning events and negotiating their logistics to the unnecessary degree, sleeping in, and confusingly arguing about nothing at all combine to provide some entertainment and activity in the laid back, slow-paced atmosphere.
In two days here I’ve observed much, learning about family, education, weather, wildlife, politics, utilities, food (of course), and [fooling] around. It has been great.