Bullfrogs. Every monsoon, they pour their heavy voice into me as if my ears are made just to usher the husky, yet loud, noise they make, now only in memories and nostalgia. As a kid, I thought frogs sang and had a band of their own, like my own school band with a bandmaster in attendance. With the overcast sky and the dark clouds in the milieu, they would get into the act. The master would initiate, and would soon be followed by the band of disciples, all singing in a synchronised voice. Their noise wobbled at first, changed scales, and then we got accustomed to it, as they too fell into the same pitch, volume and intensity, like that of a marching band walking past the ceremonial dais. The song seemed their way to welcome the first drop of rain on the parched land. I did not know if they practiced, but one felt they too were deep into riyaz, like vocalists practicing Megha Malhar.
Our mohalla was sparsely populated back then. It had lots of lowland and marshes that would turn into some provisional puddles during the monsoons. Come rain, and those bodies of water were acquired by the frogs. Literally, thousands of them. It felt as if we lived in the kingdom of frogs. They came in all sizes and hues. Many of the male frogs would turn yellowish from the dull olive-green colour while mating, to attract females. Back then, we thought as they grew old, they changed colour.