My earlier post made Indi di write poetry. Reading which made me think about rain.
It might have been in my school years that I first fell in love with the rain. Heavy downpour early morning would mean kids got a reason to stay home, but I would go to school with double the enthusiasm. Walking through the uncharacteristically empty and dark corridors, I would hear the sound of my footsteps echo, intermingled with the sound of falling raindrops. It was easy to plead to the teacher to give us a free period as attendance was short. Then, spend the hour whispering with friends or staring out of the window daydreaming, if the teacher was strict and would insist on silence.
Rain also reminds me of the oppressive summer heat and the welcome relief of a thunderstorm. A gale and thunder rumbling. My grandmother would be worried that the green mangoes on the trees would all fall, while I sat on the steps allowing the gentle spray of water to cool my feet. Early evening the storm would be gone and so would the house electricity. A neighbor might drop in and there would be tea and pakoris. If there was a hailstorm, I would have my special snack of some ice hidden from my mother’s eyes. And the verdant young leaves would be fresh and clean. In fact everything around would suddenly gleam.
Did you know, it is said, if the first drop of rain falls on your cheek you get married to the one you love? Did you know it is rumored, when Tansen sang raag malhar the skies would burst open with torrential rain? Did you know if your hair is tied as it gets wet due to rain water, there is an old wives tale, you might get hair lice? Did you know rain water is the purest form of water?
While in college, all through monsoon nights my roommate and I would keep our hostel room door open. As Atif Aslam crooned ‘hum kis galli ja rahe hain’ from our laptop, we would watch the dark shadows of trees sway in the tempest. The wind would cause the metal door to creak and blow our hair. Flashes of lightening would streak across the black night sky, but unlike Hindi film heroines we were not afraid. We enjoyed the rain.
Rain reminds me of that gorgeous girl in my college. A girl four years my senior who had a transparent white lace umbrella. She would hang it to her purse and at the merest suggestion of a drizzle it would open. A white halo over the angelic beauty.
Much later, one rainy day, I was talking about the rain to a sensible person and he remarked, that the reason I like it is because I don’t have to shiver in the cold or be drenched in it. I don’t have to wade through it in my office clothes or be stuck in a traffic jam when I would rather be home. He was right. And since that day, when it rains, it reminds me to be thankful I have a home and am warm.
As years pass by I still watch the single drop fall off that green leaf. I follow the raindrops as they make their way across the car wind shield. When on a bus, I watch the passengers shake their wet overcoats then rub their hands together for warmth. The world around still feels washed and new. A new rich color splashes on the canvas, once the water has swallowed away all the suspended layers of dust.
I was walking down a road and the finest of shower started. Far from a deluge, hardly enough to be noticeable. I had my umbrella (not a pretty lace one though) and I had nowhere particular I had to be. For a minute I thought of ducking into the nearest inviting coffee shop. Luckily I had an even better idea.
I walked in the rain.
The gossamer droplets settling on me. I hummed a song. I even hazarded to jump into a puddle and giggle at the splash. I fell in love with the rain all over again.
It comes down to the present. Now. And how we live the moment. If you don’t like the rain, maybe you enjoy the heat or the snow or something altogether different. Don’t worry, just enjoy for a few minutes today. And tell me how you feel.
Leaving you with a rain song. It might not be the most melodious, the chaos in the video and the powerful vibrant voice of Shubha Mudgal energizes me always. A young student wants to got out and play with her friends. A young couple express their love. A husband and wife in a small little world of their own. A mother lets her daughter go free. And in the midst of it all a man runs around a hen. hahaha I am not completely crazy.. just watch the video to see.
Video credit to uploader.