Raining my Happiness
Friday Reflections #2
A clap of thunder echoes through the sky, and the glass pane on the window near me rattles. Almost immediately, there’s a mad scramble to pull the windows shut, but I don’t join. My seat is at the end of the room, and a big tree is outside the window near me. The rain, which begins to pelt down, doesn’t choose my window any day, and today, the wind pushes it away from the building. A bell rings somewhere on the other side, and we get a ten minute breather as the teacher, Mrs. Nair walks out. The next class is English, and our teacher, Mrs. Davis, usually gives us that time to collect our thoughts. Sliding to the edge of the seat, I look out the window and feel a little of the rain spraying on my face.
“The rain makes everything beautiful.”
I see the droplets sliding down the leaves of the tree, the green more beautiful and clear through the transparent drops. There’s a squirrel in a tree-hole looking back at me, surprised at the mad scramble earlier. I wonder if it wants a door on the tree-hole to close, like we did our windows, or if is wondering why we’re afraid of a little rain. The sky is full of dark, black clouds, pregnant with rain and waiting to empty it on our world. But they’re drifting with the wind that enters the room through my open window and weaves through my hair. The road, two floors below us, looks like a river now, the water flowing steadily and quickly into the sewers. I see people playing hopscotch, trying to find the part of the road river that’s not as deep. And a splash of color, the many umbrellas of the smaller children whose school day ends at this time.
“I like people who smile when it’s raining.”
My best friend Divya is standing near me watching the rain as well. She’s a poet too, and I wonder what she’s thinking. We have a competition the next day where we both are representing the school, and I have a feeling she’s hoping we get rain as the topic. We smile looking at each other, knowing we’ve read each other’s thoughts, and knowing such a simple topic for an 8th grade poetry competition would never happen. We hear Mrs. Davis calling our names, and turn to go back to our seats, our faces a little red.
“There’s no need to feel embarrassed, you two. The rain is a wonderful thing to look at. You can be inspired.”
Mrs. Davis has this sixth sense at times. Today’s class, she says, is about storytelling, and she asks us to make up stories in teams of two. Not surprisingly, Divya and I write about a small child’s excitement in the rain. The story is simple, but Mrs. Davis encourages us to write further. Only writing more will help us get better she says.
“Some people feel the rain. Others just get wet.” – Bob Marley
When the final bell rings, I find my younger sister waiting outside her classroom and we go out together. The rain is still a little heavy, and some of our friends are waiting inside the school to see if it’ll let up. We don’t wait. The pluviophiles that we are, we put on our jackets and head to the bicycle stand. We smile at each other, feeling the cold drops slide down our faces and hands, and the not-so-deep-now river flowing at our feet. We know there’s a scolding in the not-so-distant future for us when our grandmother sees wet clothes, bags and more importantly, wet grandchildren. But the smile is of understanding, the understanding that we’re taking the long route home, and cycling slowly. We splash every puddle on the way, shouting to each other over the beautiful silence of rain.
When we reach home, the expected scolding comes, and she gives our ears a twist too. But we know she loves us a lot, and it’s a playful one. The aroma of freshly made potato cutlets greets us, and we find it waiting for us on the dining table. We quickly change out of our wet clothes and attack them with gusto. Afterward, we do our assignments sitting on the threshold of our home, feeling the rain with our hearts, singing “I Lay My Love on You” by Westlife.
“Rain is a chance for lonely people to be touched.”
A clap of thunder echoes through the sky, and the glass pane on the window near me rattles. I turn and see the screen of the computer in front of me. The reverie snaps, and I’m back to the present. There’s a smile on my face, but not many will notice. The talk around me is of the rain, but not about how beautiful it looks against the green of the trees. The talk is about how difficult it will be to reach home in the puddles. It’s about the cold one might catch if we get wet. The rain hasn’t changed with time, but we have. It’s no wonder the happiest phase of my life was my childhood, sharing it with best friends who wrote stories at the drop of a topic, sharing it with a sister who loves me as much as I love her, with a grandmother who knew stories of rain and whose cooking still wows us. The rain is not just rain to me. It brings back memories of an old, happier me. In a way, this rain is me.
(© 11th September 2015)