Dance, while the rain pours!!
“I looked up with my arms wide open, and a million drops of joy just poured down from heaven”……….
It was late autumn when the monsoon had arrived and the city was gearing up for chaos, because in Chennai, the monsoon is nothing but a mess and people even though love the cool weather, the monsoon sure brought more than just cool breeze, it came with a lot more chaos with it. The bridges, the roads, the sewers were all to be flooded in the following days. But for me, monsoon is a time when things wash away… from dust to waste all what the earth wants to get rid of just gets washed away without being asked for. What ever you might need, you just need to save it yourself. The rest is all just washed away!!!
From my childhood, I have enjoyed listening to my grandparents talking about the fun and the happiness they shared when they were little kids playing in the rain. I heard of my grandma saying, she and her friends used to climb the oak tree near the farm and get wet playing around the tree and chasing the thunders and much more of those priceless stories which often made me think that, in the cities where I lived my childhood, the most I ever had was to make boats and leave them in the streams which used to wash away by our doors. The monsoon brought so much rain, that in a few days, there were rivers running right by our doorsteps and it’s so much fun that you imagine your house to be right in the middle of an island and water running all around you.
During the early 90’s we lived in a house which was close to 50 years old, it was built by my great grand father who bought the land for a meager 400 rupees which would now otherwise cost him just 75 lacs more today ! He bought it for his daughter who was now married to a handsome young doctor who by now has become my most adorable grand father. The house had 3 bedrooms, a huge kitchen and most of all a big garden at the backyard with 5 mango trees, 2 fig trees and a coconut and a neem tree each.
My mom and my uncle lived their childhood here and every place and every brick has their happiness endorsed to it. As a adult I still don’t know how to express that a tree is something so special in a child’s life and at some point of time it does become an integral part of your childhood. More than the mango tree, the fig tree was my favorite. It has deep crevices in which the bats lived and its branches stretched out to the far reaches of our terrace and it used to be my ultimate escape route when dad chases me with my report card. I just used to climb the tree and it just used to hug me tight and never let me go. There were times when I cried alone sitting on that fig tree and there are times when I hid my favorite cookies inside, so that nobody would steal it away from me.
I was 19 when my dad finally decided to demolish the old house and build a new one at its place, and since my uncle had an equal share, the family decided that mom would take the house, and uncle would take the garden piece of land along with all its trees.
I was happy when I heard there was a new house coming soon, but never did I know what else was coming ahead of me. It was late afternoon when I was coming home from college when I saw a lot of commotion near my house and when I looked closer, I could see the fig tree and all the other trees lying on the ground lifeless. I dropped my bags and ran inside the house and caught hold of my dad and asked him what was going on, he replied “your uncle is going to build a house, and needs a vacant space without the trees”. I cried so much, and deep inside I felt so lifeless, just like those trees, I loved them so much and now all of them are gone, along with it went all those lovely sparrows, squirrels and everyone who made it a home. I guess every time when a human wants to make a home, little does he know that a million others unknowingly loose theirs!!
Years passed, we live in a 3 story grand house with 5 bedrooms and with everything grander than it used to be. We have closer neighbors and we have fewer friends. No gardens and no trees, the only ones we ever have are those few plants which grow in our terrace with no place with each other. I am no longer that little kid who ran around playing out and having fun, I no longer look the same, I’m more grown now. I miss those days though, those days I loved running in the rains, days I made boats by the city’s streams, days I took my broke old cycle and drove on every pool of water, miss that love from mom when she’s ready by the door with the towel in her hands greeting with a grin and getting my head dry. I really miss those days. I always wished to know once more what it really means to “Dance in the pouring rain”. I wished I had a chance.
Its late 2009 now, the first day of the rain has made the city go mad with traffic and with the expecting shower I think most of the city would nearly come to a standstill.
The week was a mess, with many of the bridges closed and most of the roads under several feet of water and people were just cursing the rain had never come.
The sewers in our roads are really good, we no longer have those rivers flowing wild in front of our doorsteps, the kids no longer make boats, and rain is just no longer fun, its just called a mess. I no longer have a cycle to go around and play in the rain like I used to and I am certainly not allowed to play because some people just said I was too old for it.
One night as I returned back home the time was 11:00pm and it was a dark night and just when I reached home, my sister opened the door and asked me to rush inside coz it was going to rain in a few minutes and she told me that today was going to be a mad shower.
So I rushed in with a feeling of relief that I had saved myself from a curse and just when I was about to park my bike, I had a flash in my mind. I stopped there for a minute and I told my sister to open the door, she looked at me with a sizzle, and asked me why. I just said “I wish to dance in the rain, just one last time”!!
It started raining, and it rained like there was no tomorrow, the roads were filled with water and the bridges were flooded. I looked around and there was just no one in the roads, all the roads were empty, and all I could see was rain pouring and the distant street lights glowing in the showers. I took off and I drove splashing the water as much as I can. I lifted my feet and I shouted out loud…. I screamed and I yelled, I made funny faces and I sang my favorite songs as the rain showered me with all its force. When I entered the main road the whole stretch was empty and I have never seen that road so empty and so beautiful.
I looked around again and still nobody….. I parked my bike in the middle of the road and opened my arms wide and I looked up and all I could see was a million drops of joy just pouring down from heaven…… I laughed and I laughed so much not because I was happy, but because I believed that happiness lives in those smallest of moments where you feel that life is not about what you’ve earned but its about those little pearls of memories that’s stick to your soul for ever making you grow young every moment you start thinking of it. I loved that moment, and I knew it was one of the best moments of my life; alone. I drove back after spending one full hour in the pouring rain and while I drove back the only sounds I heard was the drizzling sound of the rain and the roaring thunders. I touched my bike and I said a small thanks to it, after all it sure carried me through my moments and I am indeed thankful for that.
I reached home drenched and soaked, but happier than ever before. My heart was filled with happiness I couldn’t express and my mind was so sizzled out that I just laughed my way inside and my family thought I had become crazy because I had got too much wet.
Little do I know, how I can tell them, what it feels like to dance in the pouring rain alone.
I wish I could!! I went to bed that night, with a heart beating like a butterfly, and as I looked outside my window I could see the rain drizzling away by the sunshade. I just closed my eyes and smiled thinking of one of the happiest moment of my life.
If one day, you should ever get a chance to dance in the rains, go for it, you will never forget it for the rest of your lives. Am sure that moment will stick to your soul forever, like it did for me.
That moment when “I looked up with my arms wide open, and a million drops of joy just poured down from the heavens”……….