As I write this, sprinklings from the thundering rain comes through the open window and falls on my laptop screen. I enjoy the rains. I have a test tomorrow and I am supposed to be studying the notes, but I end up writing this. The rains somehow always make me stop what I am doing, and makes me just stare and admire its beauty.
I love watching the gray clouds gathering in the bright morning sky and hiding the sun, as I rush to the terrace to bring down my clothes. The drizzle that begins appears to me, like a shower of tiny shooting stars falling straight to the ground, on trees and tin-roofs all around. The leaves nod, as the droplets fall on them and sometimes I am tempted to think they are laughing and mocking me for being jailed up in the room, for my humane insecurities and helplessness. The rain gradually gets heavier.
I see a couple on the road from my window walking through the rain beneath an umbrella, in their Sunday clothes, probably on their way back from the church. Their house is nearby as I see them entering it. On another house down the slope from my window, I can see a young lad on the terrace with a bucket. I don’t know what he is doing but he adds some life to the otherwise still scene. Some of the terraces still have clothes hanging on the lines, which isn’t surprising in Shillong. The weather can change any moment. The clothes will be brought down when the sun comes out and dries them properly again. At one point, the mist comes in and blurs the view. Everything looks so calm and peaceful. Sometimes I tend to think this is what true bliss is. The rain reduces for some time. A growling in the skies once again brings down the rains heavily. While there are settlements – buildings and colourful tin-roof houses – on one side with some old green trees in between, there is a lush pine forest to the right side of the window I am facing. It looks mysterious and magical. I hear the birds that never stop chirping, rain or sunshine.
A sparrow or two fly past the window, and like a lost prisoner, I look at them longingly, wishing I had that same freedom and I could fly anywhere I wanted to. Sometimes I want to break free so much, from all these customs and rules, and live doing just what my heart says. Will I achieve eternal happiness then?
A whistle blows off from someone’s kitchen and I remember my home food. It will still be a couple of months before I get to taste it again. A flash of lightning strikes, followed by the thunder. The rain is reducing, but far in the tree-lined horizon the mist still lingers, and it’s hard to separate them from the clouds above them. Perhaps that’s the connection between the earth and the sky. There is beauty in this place and I love being here.
Talking about variant sketches I see in the rains, I remember a beautiful moment I encountered just the other day, as I braved through the rains to a local bakery. There were these two girls, seemingly of my age, ahead of me in the deserted road. An old bent poor lady was coming from the opposite side. She had worn a blue plastic handmade raincoat that covered her but could hardly prevent her from getting drenched.
Just then, one of the girls went up to her and gave the old lady her pretty nice umbrella. The lady was reluctant and surprised to see such unexpected kindness. I stopped and watched them. They didn’t know each others’ language, but seeing the lady’s plight, the girl pleaded her to keep the umbrella trying to explain that she will share her friend’s umbrella. The lady in rags, had her eyes filled with gratitude, and with all the innocence and love she had, she uttered a meek broken “Thank you” as she received the umbrella.
I was left there in awe at the kindness and the big heart that young girl had. I called out to her as sister and gave her a smile and a thumbs-up. She smiled back. People talk about violence and “the heartless, spoilt young generation” all the time. But look around, look within; they are full of love, hope and good-will. The rains that day showed me this, touched my heart and gave me hope that we can make the world a better place in our own little ways. We don’t need a big change, we just need to share some love.
The rains have finally stopped, but underneath the canopy of the pine trees, it is now raining droplets from the needle leaves. I feel refreshed and prepared to get back to my studies. My heart feels free, and it’s now okay for my mind to do some work.