Reign of the rain…

24 August 2014.
Dark clouds crowded in the sky as I zipped up my hoodie, packed away my bag and folded up my jeans…ready to brace the rains.
My preparations however hadn’t anticipated the lashing rain that followed. Out on the road, I turned a corner enroute my cousin’s house when it began to pour. Not just cats and dogs but the entire menagerie…Stranded at a distance where neither my house nor his was approachable, I took refuge under a tree. Must own a raincoat that covers the entire length of the body : Reminder 1.
My stomach crammed with good food, the taste of dessert still fresh on my tongue, I zipped up my hoodie, packed away my bag and folded up my jeans. Ready to brace the dark clouds that were gathering once again in the sky. I turned a corner enroute home, when big droplets began to dot the streets. Before I had time to process anything, rain poured down. Almost washing away my gasp at suddenly being drenched yet again…Must own a raincoat that covers the entire length of the body : Reminder 2.
Seeking refuge at my aunt’s house, stretching myself to my full length just to fit into a dry pair of trackpants that belong to my 6 feet long brother, I cast an apprehensive look towards the sky. Dark clouds were crowding a third time. I settled back with a hot cup of tea in hand, almost mocking the rain. It poured and poured for over an hour against the backdrop of our conversations. The rain lashed out, we raised our own voices just to be heard. We shut the doors on the rain, it came pouring in via a clogged terrace. It was the rain that had the last laugh, eventually.
The rains quietened, and I was back to zipping up my hoodie, packing away my bag and folding up the trackpants. Muttering prayers to the cloudy sky, I turned a corner enroute home hopefully. But in vain. The rain poured down, a bucket at a time. Yet again, drenched from top to bottom. Must own a raincoat that covers the entire length of the body : Reminder 3.
Home and dry, I was about to shut the windows to keep away the water when the rain began its downpour once again. An invariable frown began to form itself on my face…’Don’t you get tired?’ I wanted to ask. Just then, a raindrop hit the windowpane and sprayed water on my face. The gentle touch was refreshing, the cool breeze now blowing was literally a breath of fresh air. All day long, I had fought with the rains, trying to win a game of hide-and-seek, dodging the downpour. All day long, I had failed.
As the day reaches its end, I am worn out with this battle. I have been the losing party anyway. I tried to frown and hate the rains, but lost out against a smile even then…
It’s the reign of the rain. You just need to bow down and be drenched. In the generosity, in the naiveness and just simply, in the incessant rain…

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In mid- ‘fly’t…

11 August 2014.
I am trying to say a simple Goodbye when a buzzing sound distracts me. With a slight frown on my face, I persist with the task at hand when suddenly the words catch themselves in my throat.
Umm…it is not JUST the words though! A weird fluttering within makes me splutter and gasp, as I choke over an unfortunate fly that took the wrong turn. Poor thing hit a dead end; crashing into the darkness called My Throat.
Amid peals of laughter courtesy my friend and his family, I struggle with the dying soul…coughing her up, drowning her down. Riding on the sudden wave of water that gushes through my throat, the fly emerges into the open…flailing in her flight towards freedom.
I think of this fly who was forced to take this unfortunate detour mid-flight, while one of my best friends is flying over the clouds. He is mid-flight somewhere too at the moment, probably hovering over London Heathrow airport. Like a majority of my seniors, batchmates and juniors, he has joined the gang bang travelling to the US of A for their Masters’. It has been in the pipeline for long, so there has been ample time to be mentally prepared. A Masters’ Degree followed by a PhD, perhaps a few years of work…people say the United States of America is a land of no return. As I coughed up a reluctant Goodbye, a part of me got ready for a friendship that will thrive hereafter on the advances of technology. An instant message and a video chat will recreate the evening catching-up sessions. It’s all in there; the motivation, the need, the will. But something will always be missing. His physical presence, his half-smile.
Today distances are not what they used to be. We can cross entire continents within a few hours’, so he’s just round the corner really. Sure, there would be the annual 10-day visits and the whenever Skype chats, but impromptu coffee plans would no longer include him. I calculate the years he’s going to be away and add it to our current ages.
It’s going to be a long wait, having him back among us to experience those crazy moments. And that is perhaps why, the fly expressed what my words couldn’t…
That a simple word like Goodbye is sometimes the hardest thing to say. The words just get stuck, thanks to a tiny fly caught in mid-flight.

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That’s what best friends do…

3 August 2014.
I’m wide awake although it’s past my bedtime, thinking about the day that’s just gone. A normal Sunday really, with the somewhat contagious Friendship Day fever in the air.
It’s been a slightly exhausting day for me, what with an age-old ache resurfacing for the day. I’ve had this pain in my legs for quite some years now; a side-effect of a sudden growth spurt some 14 years ago.
Almost around the same time, I found myself two friends for life. The doctor diagnosed the pain as something that affected ‘1 in 100 children’ and I found friends that were ‘one-in-a-million’.
Today is probably the 15th Friendship Day the three of us have celebrated, and it’s almost amusing to hear how our topics have slowly shifted from worrying about completing tomorrow’s homework to sharing concerns about what lies ahead…
Years ago, these talks happened over glasses of milk in the middle of the day; today they take place over cups of coffee and late night. The coffee is super strong because I was much too busy chatting to notice the amount of coffee powder I put in. But my friends don’t blink an eyelid at the sudden shock of caffeine that hits their system. They simply gulp it down, assuring me that’s just the way they like it! Since when, I ask. Just for tonight, they are quick to quip.
We laugh over old photos that we find, marveling how everything but our faces have changed over the years. We silently mourn the growing up that’s going to take us away from each other.
In the next few months, we’ll stop being the friends who live down the lane. But no distance can actually come between this friendship.
Because that’s what best friends do…
They forget to forget all about each other, no matter how long it’s been since the last catch -up and how far it may be to each other’s houses!
You just pick up the strings, from where you’d last left them. That’s exactly what best friends do!

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