A Short Monsoon Dairy is an extract of Ruskin Bond’s diary in which he portrays the silent miracles of nature and life’s little joys and regrets.
June 24: He says that it was the first day of monsoon mist and it was strange to see how the birds that were singing an hour ago fell silent as the mist concealed the hills and through the mist Bijju was calling his sister, he could be only heard and not seen.
June 25: It was early monsoon rain, warm and humid and not that cold as they had been facing. The plants also realised it and the first cobra lily came out of the fern. The school boy asked him to describe the hill station in one sentence, he only said ‘‘A paradise that might have been.’’
June 27: Due to rain, some seasonal animals could be seen, like leopard and thousands of leeches. A day before the leopard had stolen one dog and in the evening attacked one of Bijju’s cows but had run away when his mother screamed. Leeches were very common and others were minivet birds and drongos and tree creepers moving up the trunks of trees snapping up insects. There was no shortage of food for insectivorous birds.
August 2: It had rained all day but with no storm and thunder. The author had neither slept much nor lain awake. It was a pleasant sound to hear. Although the tin roof was leaking, it was giving a feeling of untouched by and yet in touch with the rain.
August 3: The rains stopped, the clouds broke up. The sun rose. The woman was chopping sticks. The author could hear the tinkle of cowbells. The crow shook raindrops from his feathers sitting on an oak tree. Water was dripping from a leaking drainpipe and suddenly a clean and pure voice could be heard from the ravine.
August 12: It witnessed endless rain and permanent mist. The sun was not seen from last 8 to 9 days. Everything was damp and soggy. It was not cold rain. The hill sides were lush with late-monsoon flowers like wild balsam, dahlias, begonias, ground orchids, etc.
August 31: Last day of August with lush monsoon growth. The seeds of cobra lily turning red signifying the end of the rain. In a few days ferns would turn yellow, but right now they are firm and straight. Few flowers seemed beautiful on grassy slopes.
Snakes and rodents had come out of their holes. A shrew weak in eyesight moves about the room and children enjoy it. Grandmother says not to kill that chuchundars as it was considered lucky and the same day the narrator received a cheque.
October 3: They had gone straight from monsoon into winter rain and snow at higher altitudes. After hail and rain storms, sky and hills looked beautiful with golden light.