I have been followed by rain over the past 10 days. It has been raining almost every other evening in Bangalore and it rained when I was traveling in Bylakuppe. There are days when I wish for rain and it is answered. It’s almost like I am having a secret conversation with the Rainmaker.
One of my greatest pleasures in life is to walk in the rain. There is something cleansing about walking in the rain, feeling the water drain your skin of the last vestiges of annoyance, anger, arrogance, sloth, sin, and slumber. Over the years, I have made it a point to always get drenched during the first rain of summer. And always make it a point to never run for cover, unless I am stupid enough to have an electronic device that needs protection from the rain.
Yesterday, I was at the home of a friend who had moved in close to my parents’ house. “It’s going to rain,” I told him, wanting to hear the music of raindrops. “Rain? Now?” my friend said, looking aghast at the bright sunshine outside. “Yes, it has to,” I whispered to the other Friend who was listening. I leaned back on the LazyBoy recliner in his living room and waited. It didn’t take long.
In 15 minutes, the skies darkened, the wind picked up, and a squall blew through. “I bring the rain with me wherever I go,” I smiled at my friend in all my vanity, who was blinking in surprise.
He and I stood on the balcony, watching a coconut tree sway in the breeze. A guard held a rainbow-colored umbrella for a woman who ran for cover. “That’s a frangipani,” I pointed out to my friend, watching as the flowers danced in the shower. “And that a jasmine,” I said, nodding to its neighbor. The rain made the putrid smell of pigeon shit from the balcony stronger. I leaned over the balcony, allowing the drops to spray my face.
I wanted to do more than that. I wanted to be cleansed. Completely. Of hurt and anger. Of bitterness and resentment. Of pride and arrogance. In a while, the clouds stayed, but the rain didn’t. “I wish it keeps raining and never stops. Like just rain and rain and rain,” the friend said wistfully. “Why can’t we just ever wish for what is?” I asked, watching as the raindrops flew off the coconut tree.
As I got inside my friend’s car to be dropped back home, the song on the music system changed. It changed to…Rain by Madonna, an old favorite of mine. I smiled. No matter who leaves me, I have one faithful Friend in the Universe, who is always with me.
May it rain in your hearts today. “Rain, I feel it, it’s coming”
PS: The day after I write this, my Friend, that warm delicious nougat called the Universe, continues to reassure me as seen in this message on a random article I clicked on while writing an advertorial for The Hindu. It’s surely going to rain today in my world.