The sky had been cloudy since morning. Since last night, the temperature was also going down. Compared to the scorching 42 degrees summer a few days back, it almost felt like autumn.
All these were but preambles to the heavy downpour that descended on the city today.
Since the afternoon, the overcast sky had made way for strong winds. Soon the wind was followed by a heavy shower, quite unusual for this city. As the rain gained strength, we [me and my colleagues] looked out of our office windows and bemused. There is something about the rain which always makes you yearn...for things lost and things probable. Some of us sneaked out to have a quick cup of chai and a smoke, enjoying the breeze, flirting with the rain. Some got busy on the phone, planning a rainy evening.
As for me, I headed to our usual haunt with a couple of friends - the cafe. By the time we reached the cafe, the rain had stopped, only the breeze was flowing, carrying with it the pleasant smell of the freshly drenched earth. The usual scrabble game, which has become a daily evening routine, was cancelled. All of us were too overwhelmed by the sudden rain, falling on a city which is parched and usually in the midst of a 40 degree summer this time of the year. So we just sat there, smoking, talking, flowing with the breeze.
Suddenly, it started to rain again. And this time it was heavier than the previous shower. Soon all of us were scurrying to the interiors of the cafe, to the safety of the glass walled inside area.
While, we were sitting inside, I watched the rain from the safety of the glass walled enclosure. Watched the drops lash against the paved flooring of the outside seating area; watched the droplets from the sun shade umbrellas meandering down on the steel,wood, leather, cane of the chairs; watched the tiny rain drop rivulets trickling down the glass walls; watched the pools forming on the patio.
Suddenly, I felt a long forgotten urge. I asked one of my friends to lend me a sheet of paper. With the sheet torn from his notebook, I made a paper boat. [ it took me quite a while, and I realised that I had almost forgotten how to make one!! ]. The next moment I was outside, braving the rain to set sail to my paper boat on the vast ocean in the patio. Soon my friends joined with paper boats of their own. And we stood there, in the rain, desperately smoking on to our soaked cigarettes, as we watched our paper boats traverse the oceans.
Somehow,this spontaneous surrender to a sudden urge, made me feel very happy. As I watched the paper boat floating and twirling on the patio's ocean, I felt very alive. It rained a smile on my face and a joy into my heart.
Once again, I was the me I once was, the me that would tear pages off the school notebook and launch an armada onto the waterlogged streets of Calcutta from the window of the school bus on rainy afternoons...