Fascinated, I can sit and watch the rain for hours. Better still, I could be out there getting drenched. The rain beckons like nothing else can…the haze softening harshness, cleansing the dust from leaves and from the dry dour people we become. It’s never a good day to work though. I want to be out there, splashing, dancing, and just letting the rush of raindrops pelt on my face. It stings, it soothes, it becomes one with my pain and joy.
I remember being a kid. My mom would make us sleep in the afternoons. It used to rain in the afternoons most of the time. What a waste to stay in bed! We would both sneak out without worrying too much of the punishment we would get later because we had disobeyed her. Both of us, brother in his shorts and cotton vest, I happily clothed in my chemise, not a care in the world. We would rush out, run, splash and jump about. Soon, Lucky, our dog, would join us. He was a pup then, eager to play and when it meant rolling in the mud, he was game. It was just the cat and hen that would sit a safe distance away at the porch and watch us with a certain degree of disdain and wonder what was wrong with us.
We would return after a point of getting drenched, to sneak out one of the old magazines to make paper boats. They would float, capsize. We would run across the street and call out to other children and soon there would be a bunch of kids having the time of their life. Until. Whatever! It was fun.
As an adult, I stare at the rain, sit by the window, a coffee steaming cupped by my palms that soak in the warmth while I soak in the beauty of what I see. I sigh sometimes. I sing too. I bet the frogs run away! On those rare occasions when the longing to be a child gets too much, I go out, and still get drenched. I’ve been out walking in the rain, making friends or sharing memories. Two really stand out.
One was with Rosy, a distant cousin. I was in junior college. It was a wintry afternoon and we were out in the drizzle. I asked her if she had ever had ice-cream in the rain. She hadn’t. the biting wind and the drizzle wasn’t half as amazing ever as was that day, with the two of us eating ice-cream and walking towards my aunt’s house. It has been a long while but I recall it was so much fun.
On another occasion, it was the day I met Ivan. He had come in straight from Pune that day. Life brings in the form of little gifts, unpredictable tiny things; the ultimate joy of simply taking a walk in the rain. I remember, the evening started with us meeting for the first time. I was being the non-stop chatterbox until mid-way I suddenly remember stopping abruptly. The realization hit me then that here was Ivan. I had met him for the first time. It was his twenty-fifth birthday. One of those absolutely embarrassing moments I have ever found myself in. Nothing could have silenced me in a better manner. The night before I vaguely remember the reminder on my phone telling me it was his birthday. Damn! And I forgot! All the while I was talking he sat listening patiently. Ivan the Silent called me a couple of times that day and I never wished him. I remember the pizza sticking in my palate and I sat speechless, red in the face, ashamed of an unforgivable crime. But then, that was the prelude to what I did next. While we sat at the pizza place, it started raining.
Rains! I had a thing about rains. It was Mumbai. It was evening, and it was pouring. I whimsically decided that a walk in the rain was a must. I remember stopping at Baskin Robbins, soaked. We bought ice-cream and we walked again, in the rain, eating ice-cream. I was laughing, gleeful, a five year old in the garb of an adult. The waffle was getting messier and I was happy. I think Ivan the Patient was bewildered. The rain soaked right through my shoes. I was having a great time. And then, Ivan told me he had lost his luggage. Damn! For the second time that evening I stood speechless. I at least had another pair of shoes at home. This guy! Oh my God! Well…we became friends. Ivan insisted it was his best birthday ever.
Why wouldn’t I love the rain??! I have the best of time ever.
More memories to come...more memories in the making. Some will imprint itself forever. I am a nutcase. So be it. I have no idea about my sanity levels but I am a happy person when I am in the rain. Little miracles of life. My single, life-long affair with nature…rains.