Rains – the integral part of writer’s imagination; that which has invoked romance in heart and words; that which has helped hide tears; that which has symbolised agony, joy, love, hope and more. Rains, you are an inspiration, a friend and an enigma.
It is amusing to observe how you have appeared to me in different stages of my life. When I was in school, rains meant beginning of a new academic year. I used to be so excited to go to school in my new uniform, new shoes and of course, a new bag, with new untouched books all wrapped in brown covers and name slips duly pasted on them. It was such a nice walk from home to school, holding my mother’s hand, wearing my new raincoat and splashing water. Now that she is ill and your onset causes her much trouble, those memories have become dearer.
As I grew up, you brought about a smile on my face. I started loving the rain songs in Hindi films and hoped one day, I too would dance and sing with my dream man, with you pouring love and dreams all over us. The poet in me sprang up every time I looked at you through my window panes. The sighting of greenery that you brought along filled my heart with glee. I noticed how the neighbouring tree that had looked so sad and lonely in summer suddenly looked fresh and happy now that you were pouring all over it. Haven’t you heard my ‘Thank you’ over and over then?
As adulthood and responsibilities ushered into my life, I admit I haven’t had that luxury of sitting and staring at you or even striking small conversations with you. And I should admit one more thing - I had even started disliking you at times and I still do. No, you were never at fault. Never! It is just that we, the people, have really made a mess of our surroundings and our poor planet. As soon as you come down, the poorly maintained roads crack up, the drains start overflowing and there is dirt everywhere, thus making walking a terrible experience. There is traffic jam during rains so riding or driving or travelling by bus becomes a nightmare. The local trains are delayed or even cancelled because you decided to pour heavily. Oh! Please don’t feel bad. I am not blaming you. It is not your fault. It is just that the authorities, who have to ensure that these things don’t happen when you come, do not bother to take any precautions thus resulting in myriad problems for lakhs of people like me during your onset time – the monsoons. How I wish the authorities could spend some time restoring beauty and cleanliness of my city so that I could enjoy you again, without complaining.
But let me tell you one thing though. Of late, I have stopped complaining and that has helped me connect with you again. I have started falling in love with your tickling drops once again! Though today, as I watch you falling onto the ground shouting with joy, somehow my heart is unable to catch up with you. Life has brought in many revelations before me, some too hard to digest. As realities and truth stand staring at me, I am not able to bring myself to enjoy being with you. Still, your presence does bring a solace to my heart. My tear drops find so many companions in yours. I now know why Charlie Chaplin said of you, “I always like walking in the rain, so no one can see me crying.”
Today, as my life is nearing its dusk, I want to look back at those days spent in playing with you, not opening the umbrella to get soaked in your embrace, screaming at the sight of earthworms and laughing all the way with friends in your company. I want to say a big ‘Thank you’ for being with me in joy and sorrow just as a true partner would. Can I ask you, my dear friend, if tomorrow I decide to break free from all earthly bonds and set out all alone into this cruel world, would you hold me and take me in your embrace to your home and make me the source of one of your drops so that I can accompany you wherever you go?
Here, my friend, I come...