I Am the Rain. Here I Come.

As the seasons changed in Kotagiri and brought on new experiences, challenges, and adventures the one thing that helped me grasp at the familiar was the rain. It always rained. It contributed to the beautiful greens of the hills and helped nurture the diverse plants and species that called the biosphere reserve its home. It also helped provide me a lens of reflection for my experience.

I’ve written down many thoughts about this musty mother of the southern hills. Here’s one that I’d like to share with you:

Living in watercolours.

We are the Rain.

Once you feel the rain in Kotagiri,

you shall forever feel its waters trickling through your bodies.

Hard rain, winter rain, misty rain, summer rain.

Seconds after days after months,

it trickles into your thoughts and permeates into your skin,

as it does into our surroundings.



This rain finds itself in every cervices,

in every corner,

and creeping through the dizzying diversity of this land.

Through the dozens of frogs, the rare and fragile species,

and equally through the prey and the predator.

How do I even begin to describe how the insects benefits?



Let us forget where the rain ends

and where we begin.

Catch ourselves calling the rain

Join the ranks of the suspecting mosses

The not so innocent clouds and soils,

The yearning rainforest canopies swishing with the wind

Join in and call the rain from the oceans,

from the seas.

So that the sea afar can also know the Niligirs.



Pretend you are the rain.

Create the space to receive these beings.

You dance through holes in the ground.

You are the dribble,

Inspiring every color of hue that you intermingle with.

Keep howling through the empty tree spaces

Tuck under the thunder.

We are the rain.

Here we come.



This rain, a variant of a childhood memory,

a premonition of an upcoming rainy season.

Calls these blue hills its home as long as we do

It lives as long as the Kurumbas, the Todas, the Irulas, and the Tamilians.

Always together, always different.

It carries with it the lores of the immigrants. The early settlers.

Comforting the men and women who hear its dissonant melodies.


The reds of the soil welcoming the pre-monsoon rains.

Ten months later. I am beginning again. As I carry on through this lifeline, I could only hope to be as fluid yet persistent as the rains I lived through in my second home.

I am the rain. Here I come.

Shruti comes to the AIF Fellowship from Madison, WI with a Bachelor of Science degree in Neurobiology and Psychology. Her interest in the health and wellness of marginalized populations developed while volunteering at a village hospital in an Indian village. Since then, Shruti has deepened her experience in instigating community-oriented health initiatives by working as the outreach and health education coordinator at a mental advocacy. She also worked as an honorary research associate at a radiology stroke lab following graduation. Shruti is eager to use the skills she gained to keep building a foundation of meaningful engagement with the country of her birth.

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