Despite having lived in India all my life, and a considerable part of those years in Mumbai, it still took this book for me to discover the monsoons all over again; and appreciate them all over again. The author welcomes the monsoon along with locals and other rain enthusiasts as they sweep into the sub-continent at Kanyakumari; he then proceeds to chase the monsoon as it proceeds further into the country.What makes this book such an interesting read is not only the authors adventures along his chase, but the tit-bits of information he provides about the monsoons - things like when the monsoon first came to the land mass, how different factors affect its arrival and countless other things one would never know. Religious beliefs play a big part in the arrival of the monsoons, like in most other areas of life in the sub-continent; and the various measures taken to guarantee a good monsoon make for some very interesting reading. The writers style flows smoothly, wonderfully capturing the charm of life in each new place that he visits, very sympathetic to the subjects of the book and one cant help but fall in love with the country, its people, their way of life, and of course, the main subject of the book- the monsoon. What made it even more enchanting for me was the time at which I read this book, at the onset of the monsoon.
So I could actually visualize the magnificent phenomena as it unfolded, and how it was greeted along its way. Until the time I read this book the annual rains were something looked forward to at the peak of the the summer days when the sun scorched all that it looked upon and the heat and the dust became almost overwhelming. At such a time the monsoon would be most eagerly anticipated, the first few days of rain would be bliss personified, the very sight of raindrops falling to he ground the most beautiful thing to look at. Reading Chasing the Monsoon has added so much more meaning to this annual phenomena, a whole new perspective, and one cant help but appreciate it all the more. One of the most exciting parts of the book is the culmination of the monsoon at Cherrapunji, where it reaches its climax and delivers the world''s heaviest rainfall to this tiny city tucked in the folds of north-eastern India.The book reads like the adventurous journey it is, one which I recommend should be undertaken by anyone who has the slightest fondness for rain.