Tuesday, June 19, 2007


Another day of missed chances, misfortunes & endless wait drew to an end. As offices closed down, Palak hopped onto a train, no more bothering whether it was crowded or not. It had been gloomy all week but it seemed nature had forgotten that the obvious culmination of such weather was to actually bring in the rains. Palak & rains went back a long way. Back home at Rourkela, she would deliberately misplace her raincoat so that she had a reason to come home from school drenched in wet happiness. The rains had an altogether different effect on her. She would look up into the skies as rains would start falling so that she could feel the droplets seep through every pore of the skin of her face. She would make it a point to jump into every puddle that she came across as she made her way home. She would make Ramu kaka cook up delicious potato bhajjis to go with a cup of tea; and then sit in the balcony staring into emptiness. At times, it seemed to her father that she was looking for her mother. And one day, his fears were confirmed. On that evening, when he came home, he found his daughter on her customary perch staring into the sky. “Palak, baby what are you looking at so intently?” She turned, her blue eyes bluer with curiosity,“ Daddy, do you think these rains might be knowing mommy since they too come from the heavens?” A father gave a reply that would have shocked a scientist,” Sure, kiddo… mommy used to love rains just the way you do and she must have definitely sent them to make you happy.” The blue eyes theorized further,” Daddy, don’t you think mom would send me messages from up there? I mean, she would know if I don’t do my homework, or cheat in my exams – after all she’s in heaven and all! I wonder if the points where these droplets fall can be traced to form a message from her.” Saying this, she started testing the practicality of her new theory; but this time both- the father and the scientist remained quiet, knowing that the probability of her sending a message was as remote as his daughter ever having a normal childhood. Over the years science tried to shatter her belief but, as is the case with human nature, reason can be ignored when illusion gives you satisfaction.
The heavens finally gave in to the wishes of millions of Mumbaites crowded in tacky train compartments, buses & offices. For Palak, it almost felt like the arrival of a long lost friend at the end of a hard day. All her senses were suddenly activated. She stretched out her hand to feel the cool droplets on her sweaty forearm. She beheld the greenery becoming greener. Wet hair and wet grass are both one hell of a lot sexier than when they are dry. She heard the rhythm of nature as rain came pelting down on the aluminium roofs of nearby hutments. It feels as if the mad rhythm suddenly started following an orchestra-esque pattern. The tasteless rain water suddenly tasted so infinitely sweet to the parched throat that at that moment, it seemed there really is nothing more delicious. And suddenly, as the soil slowly took the droplets in it’s embrace, there emanated such an intoxicating scent , that normally only a peasant would have the good fortune of experiencing

1 comment:

aditi said...

rourkela???? chor sala!!