This is a sequel to my short story Meeting Mira. If you haven’t read that yet: start here. Else: Read On!
“It might rain today” I said to myself as I parked the car. The clouds had turned gray and had vanquished the sun for the day. “Vishnu, are you back?” inquired mom. She was in the backyard busy re-arranging the pots. She sure loved gardening like Amma did but there was something different in how mom did the job. She was more worried about how people would look at it, a perfectionist unlike me and dad.
“Ramya, line the rest of them against the wall” ordered mom and headed towards the kitchen. She gave me a glass full of milk and sat besides me on the sofa. She looked a bit tired; she probably needed a short nap. “Vishnu, what next after you finish your masters, just another few months and your last semester would end. Have you thought of anything?” asked mom. I wasn’t surprised; it was a long time since we had discussed about my plans ahead. I had nothing on my mind. I didn’t know in the first place why I was doing my masters. I was confused.
It had started raining, the very first rain of the season. The rain drops tickled my senses as I stretched my hand out of the balcony. It was beautiful, the city was wet in no time, and unprepared commuters rushed for shelter. Kids in the neighborhood were out on streets jumping and celebrating, jubilant and filled with truck loads of energy, some splashed water on each other while some were already racing their paper boats. Monsoon brought joy and happiness everywhere.
I walked back in the room and the wooden pen on my study caught my eye. I recalled what Arjun told me, I should write. I wasn’t sure what I could write but I just wanted pen down some thoughts to make a beginning. “Maybe I should write a poem” I told to myself. The rain had started pouring in very heavily and all the noise outside had fused into the rhythm of the rain. I was gazing at one my photos kept on my study. I was 8 then. It was family photograph featuring myself, mom, dad, Amma at the botanical garden in the hill. I used to be naughty boy then. I once ran out of the house and got completely drenched in the rain. Mom punished me by grounding me home for a week. Sounds quite harsh now but I guess that was the best way my parents could gain enough control over me. I don’t think so I ever repeated that but I never stopped playing around in the water at School. Roshan, one of my very good friends at school, used to tell me stories about Columbus. Roshan’s dad worked for the Indian Naval force and often told him about sea adventures of Columbus.
We named the little ponds that were the aftermath of rain, in the muddy school campus, and sailed our boats. The objective was to make a waterway enabling our boats to meet. He commanded like a captain and at times declared sea pirates were approaching. It meant that a teacher or a bunch of senior students were coming our way. It was a lot of fun.
Time flies. While childhood seems yesterday it sounds so funny the things we used to do as innocent young kids. Our freedom was limited to what our parents allowed us to do and now it’s our so called mature thinking ability which keeps us away from doing things that an innocent kid would want to do. I would need to unlearn so many things to be like what I was then.
Plenty more thoughts ran into my mind. There was so much that the rain had brought me back. The paper was still blank. I hadn’t written anything yet. I drew a small boat to please myself.
Mira’s painting struck me; she had painted a ship fighting against a huge sea storm. It was titled “See Hope”. When I asked her whether the ship ever sailed back to the shore, she smiled and asked me back “what do you think?” I thought for a moment and replied “I think it did”. She looked into my eyes and said “you see hope, so it would have sure reached the shore”. I got my answer but she never made me stop thinking.
“Vishnu, dinner is ready” called mom. I joined them for dinner and updated them on what’s happening in college. Dad was curious about what I wanted to do next. This time I told them that I would know by the time I finish my masters. Dad wasn’t much worried otherwise. I quickly rushed back to my room to resume where I had left myself. It was still raining and the night was getting colder. I wrapped myself in the rug and gave myself another chance to write. This time I wrote a bit and soon fell asleep. It rained the whole night. The monsoon had set in. It must have rained on the hill as well.
I woke up to a poem next morning. I read it to myself:
It just rained
Poured and drained
Brooks in every corner of street
And mischievous little tadpoles
Unfolding their joy
Birds in search of new home
Explore the world
Wind adds to the fragrance
And nudge every sail
Flying like a bird
Leaving an undying trail
Smoke replaces the fire
And ashes are washed off
Life begins at every soil
Smiles and becomes frail
I have never missed
The aftermath of a rain
I just lost my childhood
It poured and drained.
It didn’t sound too bad to me. I wanted Arjun to read it. I kicked myself out of the bed and was ready to begin my day. It wasn’t raining anymore but there was plenty of water all around. I wanted a paper boat for myself. I laughed.
This entry was posted on Monday, October 25th, 2004 at 3:01 am and is filed under Meeting Mira: A Short Story. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.