The First Rain (my first attempt at short story writing)
Today morning when I left for office, the weather looked pleasant. From last fifteen days or so, sun was scorching hot. It was so hot that birds dropped on earth from the middle of their flight and died immediately, I heard. Some sensitive guys had started keeping water in earthen pot in verandah and on doors for these poor animals and birds. Thank God, today the weather was all set for a pleasant change; at least it showed promise for it. Mercifully, the weather changed and it changed really quick. Dark coloured clouds just appeared from nowhere and covered the whole sky. Stormy wind which was also surprisingly cool painted the stage refreshingly and subsided in background, leaving the scene to be controlled by first drizzle of the season.
I purposefully kept window of the car open while I drove. Drizzle pushed by soft air touched my face and refreshed me. How gently it touched me, as if I was a delicate flower! The touch swept me away years back in the past. It was so close to the touch of my mother’s finger on my chin, while she used to comb my wet hair at time of dressing me up for school.
Rains are so beautiful. It renews everything and infuses refreshing music in the tired environment. It washes off dust from trees and gives them a saturated colour. Roads are washed, as if some monarch is to tread on them. Buildings are washed in preparedness of coming festivals. Plants and many new flowers sprout from here and there. Birds chirp joyfully. Crickets sing to give mystical touch to the darkness in night. The things around us which cannot move look so contented and happy just being there and that which can move looks so joyful and agile. As if nature has turned into a cobra which has just shed its old skin and is looking so fresh and mesmerizing.
In evening, when I came out of office I found it was still raining although very slowly. In fact it had rained for the whole day. This was not a heavy pouring, but a slow and steady rain with cool breeze. The continuity had brought very welcome coldness in the climate. When I turned my car from main road and took a left turn I noticed people have gathered at Budhan Chaiwalla ’s shop and enjoying the change in weather with sip of tea. It was not very late today in the office and I thought I can spare some time for a refreshing tea even if it meant a repeat cup at home.
“Ek chai” I asked Budhan.
“Budhan, you must be happy on this change in weather. Your earnings must have been increase ten folds.” Someone quipped.
Budhan could not suppress his smile. After some thoughts he replied –“Of course, my sales increases in rainy season and winter but it also brings some unwelcome expenses for me. I am afraid now my roof will start leaking and I will have to get that mended.”
“How nice it could have been if it continued raining. Many a times this rain shows a glimpse and then vanishes for long. Today this is such a nice weather and tomorrow we may find ourselves again in pinching summer.” Someone said sipping his tea.
“Bhai , rain should fall with discipline. The first rain should be just enough to make the fields soft to plough. Then it should fall in next installment a little much in quantity so that we can sow our seeds. Then it should stop for some days giving opportunity for seeds to sprout. After that it may fall in full swing and we would re-plant our crops and hope for a good harvest. Uncontrolled rain from the onset brings bad luck.” A person, who must be a farmer, objected to the wishful thinking. I had heard that Indian agriculture was heavily dependent on monsoon but I understood that good monsoon meant heavy rains. This discipline in monsoon was a new discovery for me. I was trying to understand the monsoon, suddenly a speeding motorbike passes honking coarsely. The arrogant wheels scattered muddy water from road and before I could move away some of it landed on my pants.
“Why these idiot teenagers drive so recklessly?” I fumed inside, “They begets accidents for themselves as well as for other. They perhaps think that some girl on road or from some roof would see them driving like that and fell in love with them. Fools! If government becomes a little strict then 90% driving license will get cancelled.”
While I was cursing dilly-dally traffic discipline, I noticed my own car was not parked correctly, at least it was not parked exactly according to a traffic manual, if there was any.
I paid to Budhan and moved ahead. Another cup of hot tea welcomed me at home. I strolled in my balcony sipping tea and watching lovely movement of milky-white and powdered rain drops which was dancing on tune of friendly tug of war between eastern and western wind.
“I love you, rains. I hope you may manage a delicate balance; a balance so that I get enough joy of your beauty, that farmer gets correct amount of water to raise his crops and Budhan gets an opportunity to skip this years expenses on roof mending by moving his cot and other belongings a little from here to there in his room.” I wished.
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