The Rains

( This is something I wrote when I was in high school, and which kept coming back to me... Thanks to Sanjukta for helping me dig this up. You are invaluable :-) )


I was standing in the desolate street, where the dark alleys seemed to lead unto eternal nothingness, and darkness enveloped everything, from the houses and the dreary shop-windows, to the mucky sidewalk and the gloomy pantechnicons parked beside them. Rain fell ceaselessly, the big drops splattering against walls and windows, splashing into streets and flowing with alacrity along them. I was absolutely drenched, and stood there transfixed, shivering and covered from head to toe with indignant goose-flesh.

I had set out to run some family errands and get a few things from the market, and then, as bad luck would have it, some friends of mine whom I met at the market decided to kidnap me and whisk me off to their place for a game of carom. By the time I had extricated myself from there, it was already ten, and the heavily overcast sky looked menacing, with the clouds hanging low. I had walked barely half a kilometer when the first ice-cold drops hit me.

I tried to analyze my pathetic situation. The streets were absolutely deserted. The houses seemed like dark punctuation marks in a bleak neighborhood. There were no passers-by whose umbrella I could share, no passing cars within whose cozy confines I could seek refuge. I was not particularly keen on putting an abrupt end to a peaceful family’s good night’s sleep, or to intrude upon an old couple’s reverie by the fireplace. Not finding a way out, I started to walk amidst this derelict surroundings towards my hometown.

Street after street went past, and the same gloomy retribution stared at me from rain-tainted window-panes, deserted patios and gloomy verandas. The wind was roaring, and rain was now falling at an angle and hitting me plumb on the face. The sound of falling rain, accompanied by the wailing gushes of wind, was rising to a fever pitch. Walking with resignation, I felt cold, sad and uncared for.

Suddenly, when I turned the corner, a sight met my eyes. A child of about five was being ushered inside a house by his father. The child kept running away from his father into the rain, and the father kept coaxing and bringing him back within safety’s reach. Ultimately, the father succeeded in putting his son inside the warmth and protection of the house, went in himself, and closed the door.

I was about to run and ask for help when the world shut itself out completely, and an image floated in front of my eyes. I was four. Me and my father were returning from a party. It was late at night, rain was pouring down with great gusto. I stepped out of the car, and immediately it was heaven. Blissful drops of rain poured down on me, and I felt like crying out for joy. My father grasped me firmly by the elbow and led me indoors, but I escaped his grasp and once again was back on the street. This continued to happen for some time, until finally my father managed to bundle me off inside the house, and with the closing of the door, the link with the joy and happiness that was pouring so abundantly outside was cut off.

As the present gradually came back into focus, I stood dazed on the slushy sidewalk. It was a different feeling, a whole new world of emotions that was welling up inside me. My heart jumped for joy, as rain fell onto me endlessly, each drop seeming like the very epitome of love and affection, the resounding caress of nature. After such a long time, it was heaven again, and this time I was not letting go. I slackened my pace, and walked on, relishing every instant, cherishing every moment of joy.

A car came by and stopped beside me. The window slid down to reveal Roy, my friend from the carom den.

“Hey! You’re sopping wet. I’m going home, let me drop you off”, he suggested. He was giving me a chance to come within the warmth and security of his car, from the seemingly hostile surroundings outside.

“No thanks. I prefer to walk”, said I. He seemed incredulous.

“You’re sure you don’t want a lift? You’ll get sick.” He seemed at a loss for words.

“I’m sure. Thanks anyway. Good night”, I said.

He drove away, and I resumed walking, feeling cold, benumbed, and miraculously happy and contented.

12 Musings:

srimoyee said...

it started out spooky :D. but ended with a warm happy feel. like ur imagery.i'l rate it #2 after 'the way things went'.

freakteans said...

It's well written, then again it always is. The description was very nice. I could feel it.

Sharbani said...

your imagination is beautiful..lovely.... write more...

Anonymous said...

Benumbing happiness is what I feel.

ridsi said...

lived every bit of it.
a nice read.
we deserve such things more often, dont u think mr.wizard? ;)

TurbulentMind said...

Liked :)

It feels nice to go back to the time when we didn't mind the rains and we weren't always hard pressed for time..

Bhaswati said...

Glad the little kid brought the child in you back in motion. Nice and vivid. :)

Incognito said...

So simple yet so evocative.. :)

Incognito said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
You Did Whaaat?! said...

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Vee... said...

loved every word of it. wonderfully written!

Anusia said...

This is a nice story. Very touchy.