As June comes to an end and July tip-toes into my life, I almost overnight become a precocious and curious boy, that I once was, a long time ago. Growing up in Delhi, June was the month that always reminds me of whip-like rays of sun, lashing my backside, leaving me dark and darker.
July in memory is the month when my summer vacation came to an end. It almost always started with big drops of rain, falling on the dusty, dry earth. It was as if tears on the face of a street urchin were washing away the grime and showing the beauty hidden underneath. The smell of the damp earth is still logged in my memory – primal, fresh and full of promise. Promise that the summer was coming to an end.
The month of monsoons that would follow would see thunder gods go bowling up in the sky, dark clouds would turn day into night, the lightening flashes would light up the world like a disco and the rain. Big buckets of rain – washing away everything in sight. Overflowing gutters, mud and backyard plants green, bending under the weight of the rain. And I would just jump with joy, soaking wet and playing with the rain gods, till my mother and my grandmother yelled – come in or you will catch a cold.
I never listened to them. I always caught a cold. And when I couldn’t go out, I would sit in our living room, open the window and peer through the mesh wire that covered it to keep flies out of our home. The slightly cool, mostly humid air would eventually follow, making everything damp. And this theater would continue into August and the heat would return.
Eventually at the end July, my school would reopen. I would get wet coming and going from school, wearing an excuse of a raincoat and carrying an umbrella bigger than myself. But I was always happy.
A lot has changed. Home in not New Delhi. It is San Francisco. Climate change means that the sun bakes Delhi to crisp, with rain nowhere in sight. Still, July was and will always be my favorite month.In my new American life, like Thanksgiving, I love the July 4th and what it stands for. It is also the month I go to the beach – a couple of times. And if that is not enough, six years ago, I set-up shop with GigaOM on July 5th.
It is a month that reminds me, that no matter how old you get, and where you go, there is always a part of you that never grows up. It just remains where you started the journey. It never should. July is the month where I feel, I am still a 10-year-old boy, who can do whatever he wants.