Long before people groaned upon seeing rain clouds hovering over the city complaining about clogged streets and power outages, there was a time when the monsoons were greeted with delight. As the city witnessed on Thursday its first monsoon spell in many years, residents took a trip down memory lane and shared their favourite rain incidents with The Express Tribune.
“I remember as soon as the rain would start it was an almost ritualistic faor my family to get ‘garam garam’ jalebi from Nimco and eat it while standing in the rain,” said 23-year-old Musaid Raheel. “It also meant it was time to hit the beach and play football with friends.”
Arishay Hussaini, 22, and her friend once took her father’s safari jeep out for a drive during the rain. “We were driving along Sea View, singing all the Backstreet Boys’ songs we could think of.”
Read: Parts of Karachi plunge into darkness as city receives first monsoon rain
There were some who made the most of testing times. When her garden pool used to get filled up with rainwater, a 50-year-old resident remembers how all the children would ‘swim’ in it. “I also remember the lovely smell of wet earth that would hit you after it rained,” she said. “In fact, my brother and I thought it was so nice that we researched the smell and found out that it actually has a name - Petrichor.”
Savera Dar, 27, remembers jumping in puddles of rainwater when during a particular monsoon season her friends went to Golf Club for breakfast. “We saw puddles of rain on the main road and, instead of getting into the car, we started jumping in the puddles for hours.”
For most people, rain is all about fried food. “Rain for me in Karachi is hot and spicy pakoras with podina chutney and paper ships floating in stagnant rainwater,” recalled Amber Asim. The 38-year-old doctor was upset she cannot enjoy rain the same way she used to in her childhood. “I wish those peaceful days return to Karachi and these long-lasting traffic jams end.”
Read: Heavens open: Rain washes Karachi
Those who lived in gated communities were sure to engage in a muddy game of football. For Asad Qamar, 23, who used to live in Overseas Bungalows in Gulistan-e-Jauhar, monsoon meant getting together with his neighbourd and playing football in H Park. “The ground would get very muddy and slippery but that never stopped us.”
And then there were those who posed for God every time lightening streaked through the skies. A 24-year-old woman remembers playing in the rain with bags draped over their heads to protect their hair. “At each flash of lightening, all of us would just stop, look up and pose,” she said. During the last heavy rains in 2011, Muhammad Wahab recalled how a KESC truck gave him a ride home to DHA Phase II. “I left my office on Sharae Faisal at 3pm but couldn’t find any way to my home until I saw the KESC truck and asked them for a ride,” said the 40-year-old. Three other stranded residents also hopped on board by the time the truck made its way to DHA.
Osama Khan may have lost his favourite sunglasses on Sea View in 2005 but he was still enjoying the lovely weather at Do Darya on Friday afternoon. “Nothing can replace the feel of rain in Karachi, the sight of the sea and enjoying heavy rain with friends.”
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Contributions by Yusra Salim, Yasal Munim
and Siham Basir
Published in The Express Tribune, July 25th, 2015.