9/29/2013

THE RAIN IN ALLAHABAD.

I was listlessly flipping through the pages of the prospectus when the clap of thunder stole away the light in my room or rather from the entire Allahabad. Only the generator-installed kitchen beneath our floor was thriftily lit and the workers were busily engrossed in preparing lunch. The roasted-scent of rotis in the air found their way into my room, making my stomach growl even louder on encountering the stimulus.

Opening the door to my balcony, I could see the busy cooks- rolling bigger dough, pressing the rotis into shape in between their palms and eventually frying it in the hot-boiling oil. Some of them were peeling off the boiled potatoes while others were grinding the spices as the odour of garlic filled the congested kitchen.
I had wish then to join the mess for the day but the shortage of money drew me back. Those friends taking food there are fortunate- at least for today- though they would be complaining other times.

Waiting for the uncertain light seemed a hopeless effort for the sky was overcast and with every bygone minute it darkened into even gloomier atmosphere. So, I retreated to my bed. I left the door open as the only source of light in the room was through it and darkness would crowd into my room if the door is shut.

However, before I began my siesta, I could hear the expected patter of the rain outside. Even at the final teenage, I find it difficult to hide the excitement that I inherited as a child, on hearing the sound of the rain outside.

Though expected, the downpour had suddenly poured down and the rikshaw drivers were accelerating their pace to escape beating from the rain of final monsoon days. It’s almost the end of September- the end of monsoon season in India or particularly Northern India.

Scooters, bikes and two-wheeler automobile drivers were unfortunate travellers on the day for the rain was cruel on them as it drenched them immediately as it had showered. The rain drops split into million small droplets as it hit the roof of the running cars on the road. On the tarred road, it succumbed as the runoff, joining the drain water of the roadside which would be disgorged sooner into the nearby river- Yamuna.

Poor people still continued to run under the cover of their shawls and plastics. They seem to scorn the rain instead of cherishing and rejoicing in the final downpour unlike the happy couple strolling and singing under the protection of a beautiful umbrella.

 A scooter-rikshaw was full and the contented driver sped up his carrier as if to impress his wet passengers- some of them might have been a beautiful woman I wondered- as the whipping rain-laden wind tried to blow off its polythene windows.

Beside the road, some unknown flowers had bloomed as if all these time, it had been waiting for this last rain to open up its petals. They were pink blossoms and pink flowers of nature never fail to fascinate anyone especially the nature-lover.

A woman passed the road where those flowers bloomed. She had a bundle of cumbersome water-soaked sticks balanced on a flattened cloth on her head. Despite the heavy load, she looked determined even under the rain. Occasionally, she stopped but continued all the same. Though thin and frail and dark- tanned by the sun under which they are to work- Indian women are tough and full of stamina.

The wind blew some rain in my room and I didn’t fail to realise that it’s beckoning me to join the world outside. Watching from balcony is not enough and I should not miss the last rain in Allahabad- it certainly is here to bid farewell for the year. I collected few notes from my purse and borrowed an umbrella, lest the rain stop before I got to touch it falling directly from the unfathomable sky. Under the rain, I confess I’m still a child for the fascination I received from it back in the Himalayan range and here is still the same.

Moreover, I should catch up with the poor struggling woman under the rain. She would have been praying to God. 

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