It rained again. Yesterday. I could have walked out into it. But I had her with me. And she was tired. Having spun around the city in less than 30 hours. No, the city is not that big either. Just spread out. Wide roads, huge circles. So it takes time, and energy, to reach the gate from inside an open space, say a park. So we are in the car, when I would have preferred the storm on my face, while waiting for the bus. But I had let it out loud (enough for her to hear) that I had no umbrella. And she was obliged to be the Samaritan. And it was pouring heavy outside. I wish I knew when to open my mouth.
I invite her home, even when I don’t need her around. It’s what I brought on me—when I spoke my angst before a stranger. So I’ll hang on to the consequences.
But all the while, I am aching to be out there as the winds scream against the car we are zooming in. The wipers are working overtime. No, it still might give in. Like that last time I was out in one such rain. Mine snapped. I hadn’t complained. I couldn’t. I could have chosen to stay at home, not to be a part of what was coming down. This once too reminds me of that day in the rain, that other once in the rain. I was yet again with someone I hadn’t wanted to be with then, asking her politely to run into the car to avoid the rain when all I wanted to do was shove her in, zip back home and drop her off to where she needed to be and simply savour what was happening around—for me.
It happens for me. The ballet of the skies, I call it. Dimmed lights, and an entire chorus unfastening. For me to relish. Heavenly drop after drop. All for me. In me…in unison to all of that in me. Taking me just the way I want to be taken in… giving me as much as I crave for. I could drench in it, body and soul and still walk out untouched, unscathed. Such pleasure in remaining me despite what it may supposedly do to me. Like love they speak of, before the sub-jurisdictions of territories fall into it…before the rights and wrongs are matched…before the strings finally take on the relationship, well, that is what getting wet in the rain is like for me. That larger-than-life proponent to my life. I give in. Completely. Willingly. Unspeakable calm, inside me! Beautiful, languid. Rain.
We have reached home, mine.
“No, I like tea. With a spoon of milk in it. I can show you how we make it.”
“Yeah why not. Sure.”
Coffee arrives, as does her tea. She hasn’t ventured to make it after that line. I haven’t asked more of her. We sip on our drinks as on our conversations. There is not much we talk. We hardly know each other. But she had offered me a drop. And I was expected to oblige. The electricity has bushed. It’s the rains, they would say—the thunder and lightning, the storm. It would snap a tree on a pole, that is what they always say. Rain, it’s a pain to them. How, I wonder!
We are barely able to find each other’s eyes to look back into while talking. But we talk. Inane things. Those that show up in the papers, Deccan Chronicle, The Hindu…“No Times in the city yet.”
“No, though it might—in most cases. But keeping up with their policies might take a while.”
I can hear the rain lash. Waiting for me to join in. I can’t yet, I say. She would have to leave first.
But the colours it has left around with its divine entrance have taken me in, like it always does. Somber, pale and simply grey—like most claim to hate in unison. I love that part. The grey, with no one to please. Just the reflection of the clouds, downwards, right down to the earth. Leaving behind shadows of the grey, grey skies…radiating its ambiance out into the earth. On the pristine greens, and the browns of the trees. I want more.
She would leave soon. And I am going to step out, at least walk into the terrace here. Give in. Simply make love to all that’s coming my way.
The coffee is done, so is her tea. It’s time for her to leave. I can’t wait. She looks exhausted, needs her rest. I let her know. I know she’s been on the move ever since she has landed in town. I wish her luck until the next time we meet. We will, I know.
I remember just in time my duties as a host. I drop her off to her car.
“Thanks. It was nice knowing you, meeting you,” one of us says.
“Yeah, same here,” says the other.
I wave at her car and get back inside the house to tell the girl at home that I am going out.
“Ummm…it’s raining, madam ji,” she says shyly as she hands me a brown umbrella. Makes me want to smile, but give in to her concern. I always do. May forever, too.
There is nowhere to go, other than just to be on my own. With the rain. My stimulant.
It has receded by now, a little.
But I am not going to open my umbrella yet. I want to feel it on my face, soaking into my skin, one drop at a time…dripping down my hair, trickling onto my back. I want to experience that feel of getting wet…of something close to making love.
I like dry umbrellas. I like wet, wet rains.
This blog has been edited. I had first published it here (some many years ago).