As my friend Teju (officially Tejendra) left my home late afternoon, I sat in my room remembering the good ol’ days when we had endless fun together. He would certainly grin when I informed him that power went off the moment he left. It was pointless to stay inside the house, so I started for an evening walk in the ever-enjoyable
I like to look at the trees on the way. There were many coconut trees. It was amazing the way the concentric branches spread themselves out with the cloudy white and blue sky in the background. The other majority was the trees with yellow color flowers. The broad-sized leaves and big flowers completely crowded those trees, with little room left for even the birds. Two plants in a house defied the boundaries of the wall and stretched themselves out climbing the wall and iron rode grill. Both were laden with flowers -one with blue and the other with red, touching the mother earth as if thanking her for the nourishment. The bugle shaped blue flowers stared directly in the onlooker’s eyes. The red ones were actually many little flowers united to be big enough to catch a passer-by’s attention. They certainly did get mine. I spotted 3 foreigners on the terrace of the next house. The same power-cut might have brought them there. One of them was sitting on a parapet in a contemplative posture. The other two were chatting and having a drink.
As I turned to get back to my home, a cool breeze passed which made a flock of sparrows fleeing from a tree. I looked at its flight and realized that the sky was dark and it was about to rain. But before I hurried up, it started raining slowly. I took shelter under a tree, waiting for the rain to stop. Some other pedestrians joined me there and suddenly the tree looked smaller for all the refugees. The damn real estate problem everywhere! The half-grown tree anyway was not the ideal place and we had to move under a larger tree. The rain was lashing heavily now. I watched some coconut trees dancing in the wind and the rain. A lonely palm tree was receiving all the blessings from its stretched out palms – a reward, may be, for standing tight and not bending. It struck me like lightening that it was the month of sawan, the month for rain. Though Kalidasa started his epic love story meghdootam with ashadhasya pratham divase (the first day of ashadh, the day when monsoon starts), folksongs mostly refer sawan to describe rain – probably because of the slow and steady life-sustaining rain it brings. That rain reminded me of Prem Warbartoni’s following ghazal - not that I was in a somber mood, but it has some profound lyrical effect:
kabhi to khul ke baras abr-e-maherban ki tarah,
mera vajood hai jalte hue makaan ki tarah
(abr – cloud)
When my shelter-provider drank enough water, it started pushing some water down at us. I tried hard for sometime to skip the water drops, but it was no use. After a while, water was dripping from my head and my clothes were completely soaked. It was foolish to stand there, so I started walking back. Some of the trees were humbled by the rain, and so was I, completely drenched. Water was flowing down the street, and the sound of chhab chhab kept reverberating in my ears as I approached the home.