Rains are amazing. They bring respite from the summer heat. The smell of rainwater falling on burning earth is something else. If its a thunderstorm, I sit and count the seconds between a lighting flash and the sound of thunder, thus determining how far the lightning strike was(its something I picked from a Walt Disney Movie – In Search of the Castaways, anyone seen it?) Sometimes there is a power cut and you are left with nothing to do but listen to splashing drops of rain and the thunder of the lightning. Its a raw form of communication with Mother Nature - where for a brief moment you forget about the post you just liked on facebook, the tea you put on the kettle, the cell-phone you cant find in the darkness – its just you marveling at the lightning across the sky. You feel you rediscovered a part of yourself – something ancient, something raw – even though moments later the feelings gone.
Rains also bring memories of places, of people, of times gone by. Deepanjan Dey has written what I consider a masterpiece titled “Random Rainy Days”. It expresses what many of us feel on Random Rainy Days.
Today was one such Random Rainy Day! After dinner I felt like having a chilled coke so I walked to the nearby store. There was a slight drizzle but the normally crowded street was empty. Deja Vu! I was reminded of the rainy days of Manipal.
It used to rain non stop – remember! Sometimes I would decide to go to Timmy’s for a Keshto and a chai (no not a sutta – i do not smoke). It was difficult to find people who would accompany me in the rains and thus sometimes I went alone. Of course, on the way people would hand over 10 bucks to me to get some sutta. Sometimes they would also hand over an umbrella, not because they cared that much that I would get drenched, but because it was one of those rare moments when they had somebody’s umbrella with them. Whose? Who cares – just get the ciggs will ya?
I would climb the short wall behind 9th block and jump to the other side, carefully making my way to Timmy’s, on the lookout for snakes who perhaps might decide it was lovely weather for an afternoon crawl! Ever since I saw a cobra crawling on the road next to Timmy’s, I was fairly certain I was going to die bitten by a cobra which was hiding below the bench inside Timmy’s shack. Whenever I entered Timmy’s shack, I tried to see whether there were any snakes around. But it was pitch dark and I reconciled myself by thinking that any snakes in the shack would have crawled away the moment Timmy anna would appear from behind the shack shouting “Kaun hai?”. You cannot imagine how terrified I am of snakes! Yet I used to go to Timmy’s every day, overcoming my fears to savor half fries, keshtos, chai and the sight of the valley. That sight was something else when it rained.
Sometimes I would start playing songs like “Raindrops keep falling on my head..” on my comp and others would join in for some good music and good bakar.
During the rains, you also got to better know random people studying with you. Waiting for the rains to get over, you would start reading the notices on the notice boards, even though you had read all of them a couple of hours ago on the way back from lunch. You would find a notice about the fine you had to pay for some random thing or the available rooms in 10th block for your batch and then you would start cursing the college authorities with some random dude you hardly spoke to. Of course, some years later that random dude became a very good friend as both of you were placed in the same company.
I saw this video on facebook today in Mayur Kislaya’s news feed. Its a recent one of the rains in Manipal. Then I went out and was reminded of Manipal and all of you as I soaked some of the drizzle.
Remembering all the MITians and Manipal on this random rainy day! We Rock!