Yesterday, the city received the first monsoon showers of the year. The city dwellers had been eagerly awaiting this downpour especially when Gurugram was soaked in the sweat of it’s own people. The sweat was stifling each one from the odour of the other. Unable to concentrate, thanks to the salty droplets of perspiration, the work suffered. Though people like to carve a niche for themselves on the top, here we were ready to stay even in a dungeon if it had a life saving AC.
Suddenly, the weather changed. One could feel the coolness, the wrath of the Sun God diminishing as it was eclipsed by the clouds brought in by the moisture-pregnant winds from the far away land. The Sun further lost the battle to these winds and its luminosity too diminished. The elements of Nature were in an open confrontation. The people sided with the cool winds and hopefully anticipated the outcome of this battlement to their favour. For once, the collective prayers of Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, men-women, children, lower class, upper class, Jats, Gujjars, Punjabis and all the other castes were answered. It is interesting how we rise above the bar of discrimination in the face of adversity. And it is this intrinsic human quality than keeps me hopeful…
The cool breeze and the sweeten darkness pave way for the tiny droplets of water to come and embrace Mother Earth. The Earth responds by opening its fragrant buds, spreading the mild fragrance in the atmosphere that entices everyone. Overcome with the magic of this alliance of Mother Earth and the tiny drop, soon the other droplets compete to embrace the ever beautiful and rich Earth. It is now a downpour that touches the parched souls. The harshness of Nature is forgotten and forgiven.
The sweat is long gone and evaporated, all the city dwellers are now drenched in the spirit of cool rain, if not the rain itself. It is interesting how each one enjoys the rains in the city. The mothers become protective. They try and dissuade their children from getting wet in the rain. The toddlers and kids are sheltered under the umbrella and if the rain caught one unprepared, the umbrella is replaced with a dupatta or a bag.
But the rain plays tricks on the minds of these kiddos. They try and wriggle out of the tight grip of their handlers, stretch their tiny hands and feel the pitter-patter of the rain. A few more tugs at the grip and they run free. The restrain gone, they enjoy their freedom. They elope into the lap of a recently formed puddle. Jump up, splash the water, dance a little and enjoy with a carefree abandon.
One could observe the same reckless merriment while going past the ‘jhuggis’ near Rajiv Chowk. The little urchins drowned themselves in the water that washed past the sidewalks. They lay there in the muddy slush, soaking their bodies to remove the odour of sweat. I was tempted to click a few pictures but the traffic behind barred me from giving it a second thought. Round the corner a few more girls dance in merriment. The rains have a way to let oneself loose. The lovers too leave their inhibitions and find a reason to take solace in each other ‘wet’ embrace. The sensuousness of the rain grips their minds and pumps up the adrenaline.
But the same city that eagerly awaited the rains is repentant. By evening the city comes to a standstill. The roads have disappeared beneath several feet of water. There is water clogging all around and massive jams. People are eager to reach their homes and share their stories of ‘barish ka jaddo’ and the frustration at the hands of civic bodies. They have failed us in the past and they have failed us today.
Back home after beating the jams, a cup of coffee in hand, as one reminiscences about the day…a smile plays of the lips, it is the magic of the first shower of rain…ever so nostalgic and divine!!