And there she came.. Disturbing the silence of midnight, sneaking slowly into the gardens, tickling the tree tops, she settled strong with her Marylin Monroe skirt spread over korea by a radius of 400 km. Sanba is too sweet a name by Japan Meteorological Agency for a shrewd typhoon like her. Reports said that she entered our campus by around 2:00 AM when everyone including the dogs, except taxis was fast asleep. I woke up by the hysteric whistle blowing through the crevices of my bedroom. Struggling with my sleep laden eyelids, I realized that samba overtook my alarm by half hour. The following lazy 10 minutes of sleepless hither thither cuddle within the width of single cot gave better satisfaction than the full night’s sleep. I finally hatched out of my laziness and lurched over the cold tiles to refresh myself. I looked at the mirror, sign of ageing is slowly creeping into the face, and there I stood within the bathroom of an alien land (yes, they have given me an Alien card), far away from the soil that hold my roots firm.
I came out to the balcony, infinite nozzles of cold air puckering into the sudden gooseflesh hairs wiped away the residual sleep I was carrying within. The rain was strong, slender transparent needles descended down causing small pools of water near the front door. Lost in time, I kept watching, surrendering myself to the past, remembering the june-july monsoons of nagercoil, I continued watching. The images of rain I saw just stopped in front of my eyes and automatically got translated to a different vision of past. I was the same, though compressed in size to fit the skeleton of an over grown 10 year old boy. Warming my palms over the thick tumbler with half-drunk light coffee, I was sitting on the cold cement verandah, watching the same transparent water threads falling down from heavens. Waiting for my dad’s hug, the damp news paper laid there still unread. I was looking at the clouds with infinite questions when my sister squeezed close disturbing the tranquil moments of higher thoughts investigating what lay above those chameleon clouds. And we fought for the millimeters of space she had invaded into my invisible territory on the cement verandah. Soon we were bored of the fight and fell silent, again started to fight on who will take the coffee tumblers back to kitchen. Dad’s appearance and his bulky spread with the news paper straightened us; we became timidly silent, then got up and walked slowly with our respective coffee tumblers to kitchen.
“The rain will be severe, don’t let the children out”, dad’s strong voice travelled across crashing our hopes, the hopes of enjoying the holiday, hopes of renting a bicycle for an hour and the hopes of drenching in the rain and a secret view of the river, which we were never allowed without an adult’s accompaniment. Our rainy day, a lazy local holiday for schools to save the kids from cyclone began with our dad’s departure. I just stayed in the sofa, gazing outside enjoying the chill breeze brought by the rain. The television was pleasant, with no sulking from switching channels as we had only one doordarshan, the black and white Raj kapoor miming for the magnetic voice of Rafi in R.D.Burman’s music entered the picture tube, the details unknown then, hardly interested in hindi movies or music, yet watched them without choice. “Why don’t you do something, why are you wasting time?”, mother’s voice came out of the kitchen mixing with R.D.Burman. ‘Do something, aint i? am watching TV’, the response held within the throat, I just switched off the TV and cuddled with a blanket and children’s magazine. Soon, I lost interest in the magazine and there came my sister with paper boats. The waste papers were made to better use. Every time I went out to lay the paper boat, the rain bent and teased me with her swift sprinkles. She purposely sunk my paper boats, just to draw me out. She might have been upset with my mom’s hot bajjis as we left her, ofcourse bajjis can’t last longer and we returned back. By that time, she was tired of showering and took some rest. We came out, dug channels to let the clogged water stream out to tributaries; soon our tributaries joined that of our neighbour’s. By the end of the rainy day, I was always happy with the cold wind, the mud laid trousers and the hot snacks of mother. The rain was also very cheerful; I had heard her giggles when she came down, the merriness and joy she is accompanied with.
Today I watched her again, she hasn’t aged, she is still the same, and I stood in my balcony longing for a hot cup of tea, R.D.Burman music and a blanket with no work ahead. Startled at the pace of my watch needles, I quickly packed to office. She was waiting for me to come out and she wanted to hug me tight with her wet hands. This time, I avoided her with an umbrella, protecting my formal shirt, hiding my cellphone and wallet from her, I walked. She might have been upset, I no more hear her merry laughs, but her moans, a feeble cry within her forceful typhoon whistle. I walked straight pretending not to hear, testing my new umbrella against her. She hugged me from behind, may be to hide her tears; I was wet, yet I didn’t look at her. I carefully watched my steps over the streams, not remembering the childhood tributaries, not remembering the joy the same streams gave me in splashing them, I walked straight to my office. As I settled with a hot tea, she kept banging my windows “what harm did I to you? Why did you stop loving me? “.
With the buried love, I continued pretending not to hear her, like most of the world………