If I was asked what the one thing about Manipal I miss the most while staying quarantined at home was, my answer would be- the Monsoons. I remember how the town gets carpeted in a bright green of nature, the hustle-bustle with every trinket landing on Earth, the always gloomy, notorious sky, and the chilly wind when it brushes against my face.
I still remember my first day in Manipal. Heavy drizzling welcomed me to the town. I am not a big fan of monsoons, and stepping outside in the rain was the one thing I feared the most. Unaware of the weather in Manipal, you can imagine my horror when I realized I was about to spend the next three years of my life in one of the wettest towns in the country.
Umbrellas, Monsoons, and Manipal
A sword completes a knight, a pen completes an author, controversy completes the Kardashians, and an umbrella completes a student in Manipal. It was only after losing quite a few of them. I learned that an umbrella in Manipal is more precious than your iPhone. As a student of Manipal Institute of Communication, on my way to college, I often felt like a participant of Takeshi’s Castle, where the river was the road filled with puddles right outside MIC, and the stones being the little amount of muddy but drier land scattered here and there. The exciting part was, we even had the weird looking people trying to distract us – the honking cars.
The weirdest part about Manipal rains is that you wouldn’t know at which angles the droplets would attack you today. If you fail to point your shield, your umbrella, in the right direction, you shall end up looking like a wet scarecrow by the time you reach college. In the beginning, I could not figure it out myself and end up shivering through the day because of my wet clothes. The months from July to November are cold and lazy in this town.
A very integral part of Manipal monsoons is a warm cup of coffee or tea and hearty conversations with your friends. The weather can be gloomy often, but it has a pleasing feel to it. I didn’t even realize when I got accustomed to the rain and winds and mud and more rain. The town is getting a new lease of life with the showers. All the beauty and greenery around will always keep you happy and cheerful. Also, the sense of calm and peacefulness it invokes in every person is a different experience altogether.
Monsoons are the best time to go exploring Manipal. The cold weather and absence of the otherwise scorching heat make it easier for everyone to be all adventurous. I remember the long walks to End Point and then downhill to reach Baba’s point for some cold drink and food. Dosa and filter coffee in Anand Bhavan because I would convince myself that the food court was a risky business in the rain. Sitting in the Student Plaza with my friends and some loud music are some of the best memories of my first monsoon.
Aesthetic would be the appropriate word to describe a rainy day in the student town when you could just sit back in your room and enjoy the weather. These are some of the best times every student would choose to go for walks, sit under the shade in Kotyan’s with a cup of tea or make sure they reached the place there friends called them before the uproar poured again.
Not even consistent raining for hours or days could drench the vibe of Manipal. The rains would just add on to the frolic of the student’s everyday lives. I loved getting wet in the rain with my friends. Singing Bollywood songs on our way to the hostel, trying to open our eyes through the consistent drizzling and not caring about anything. I started perceiving rainy days in a completely different way. We would go to the football matches of our friends at End Point. Jump around in the puddles, enjoying the fact that matches would get canceled because of waterlogging in the fields. Earlier, what was just a nuisance to me became synonymous with exuberance, good days, friends, and memories.
Monsoons of Manipal are an amalgamation of all sorts of emotions for me. I have had some of the most warming and fun times with my friends during those times. It will always have an extraordinary place in my heart, and I would not mind having to experience the same all over again.
About the Author- Nivedita is a second-year student at Manipal Institute of Communication. Her head is an amalgamation of animes and real-world mess-ups. She can be compared to a sloth.