The evening is cut short by heavy dark clouds. Will it rain today?
I wish it rains today. After may be two-three years, I am in a mood to enjoy the rainfall. When I was in Shillong, it was a headache. Because it always rain there. There was nothing new in it. Cherapunjee, which receives the highest rainfall in the world, is only 40 km from Shillong.
But will it rain today in Bangalore? May the Rain-Goddess be kind to the city today; Let it rain cats and dogs. I am in a mood to immerse myself in the music. May be, who knows, if mood permits, I will run to the terrace and not leave until I feel I have caught a really bad cold and going to fall sick soon. But I am in a mood to be the instrument, let the raindrops strike the chord in me. I will sing today. Will it rain today?
It’s long since I didn’t attempt to write a poem. I have lost touch with my mother-tongue Bengali. I want to write in Bengali today. For that I need to open myself. Let my pores absorb the music of a drizzle. Let the Rain-Goddess bless Bangalore today. Will it rain today?
I remember, when we were kids, me and my sister, we used to beg father to let us bunk our studies and enjoy the rainfall. The pungeant smell of freshly-drenched earth reminded us the smell of mother. The all reassuring smell!
Me and Jhumu, our nose poking outside the window used to inhale the most fragrant perfume in earth. It was not enough for us. As if we wanted to bottle the perfume and keep it at our bedside. It was a strange smell; it was a strange experience, a strange feeling. I always wanted to run out of the house and never return. I wanted to break free every time the smell invaded the whole earth.
Our face hard-pressed against the iron grill, we used to see the distant light in the lamppost getting hazier. Soon it used to shine like a holy man’s ring. Our eyes ... round, wide open, fresh, eager, moist, were filled with dreams. Dreams of growing up soon. We would then reach that lamppost and touch the holy ring, without getting scolded by parents.
We were spell-bound by the small rivers and springs and pools formed here and there. Who knew, that curve where I peed everyday, and that crack which I passed everyday without even noticing had such potential. Who knew that they were a piece of art waiting to be carved out? Soon we would wonder seeing the heavy rains inundating the nearby fields and making everyplace “water water everywhere”. We were the favorites of the rain Goddess. Soon she used to fill our hearts with so much joy that we, me and my sister Jhumu, used to hold our hands and dance and sing. Our stock was very little and often we ended up singing our national anthem…without giving a damn of maintaining a proper etiquette. As the rain transformed the earth, many a times we transformed our national anthem, a must to learn and thus the only full song in our collection, into rock-and-roll thingy.
And there was music, a tune; the notes of which I have forgotten as soon as I grew up. The notes, which I used to effortlessly relate to, and which used to make me somber. I have forgotten them. I am desperately searching for the notes one more time.
Oh! When did I grow up? Why did I grow up? Why?
I know, I am a sinner now and the Rain Goddess won’t let me get atune to her. She is now striking the hearts of her new aficionados; somebody somewhere on earth has now pressed his/her face against the window and watching the distant lamppost. The holy man’s ring of light.
But at least, I will try to recollect the notes. I will pray to her today. I will put all my vileness, schemes, meanness and perjury behind and again will press my face against the grill today. Let the thunderbolt strike it. Let there be no chance of escape. Who wants to escape to return to this world of futility? If She forgives me and claims me back with her blaze, I will be the most happiest. I will get back my notes. This time I can really touch the holy man’s ring. Without anybody objecting. Earlier it was father who prevented me going out. Now it was me, the clever and practical me. The foolish me.
Ah! Finally, I will get rid of myself!! What a relief!
But, will it rain today?