It was a hectic day at work and traversing my beat-up scooter through rush-hour traffic on a November afternoon got me home exhausted. I put down my handbag and slumped into my recliner in my bedroom. I was so tired that my mind went to disabled mode, blocking all possibilities of thinking through the day’s events. I reached out and drew aside the sky blue drapes over my window to let the sunlight wash away some of my dreariness.
I always like my room bright and airy and my window granted me that privilege. Not only warmth and light, it allows me to be a silent spectator. Looking out my window, I saw my two year old neighbour sitting in her tiny rattan chair on the porch. Her mother must have got bored of sitting alone at home with the kid and got out for some fresh air. The guy who lived upstairs was having his usual rendezvous with his friends, all of them atop their stationary bikes. The lady in my opposite house, though rude to the vegetable monger, watered her ornamental plants fondly. A pregnant cow walked lazily on the street, oblivious to the presence of people around. I craned my neck to see the bearded man next door seated in his car, revving up the engine.
Potholes on the road were still filled halfway with water from the rain earlier in the morning. The sun had not been strong enough to dry them up completely today, which indicated the possibility of a shower around the corner. The role of a mute onlooker eased my strains of the day and I propped myself up to get a better view. The sky slowly dimmed and the clouds grew thicker. I could smell the rain in the air long before I heard the first drop splatter on my red-bricked verandah. The light drizzle gave way to a steady downpour, surrounding me with a soothing pitter-patter.
As I savoured the cool air and the petrichor, a boy came running and took shelter in my verandah. He was drenched and was running his fingers through his wet air. I was too tired to get up and be hospitable enough to offer him a dry towel, so I just sat back and observed him. He stood fidgeting in his pockets, I guess to dry some currency he might have had. Interestingly, he didn’t seem the tiny bit upset on getting wet. He had a crazy gleam in his eyes and was clearly enjoying the rain.
Seeing him, I was tempted to open my window, but I restrained myself as that would make him aware of me watching him. He extended his arms forward and swayed them up and down, playing with the falling water caught in his palms. It was a spectacle of pure delight to see his joyful antics. There was an invisible connection between us, both enjoying the rain in our own way, with a few feet separating us. The reverberating sound of the rain drops rejuvenated the soul and symbolically washed away my dullness.
After a complete half-hour, the tempo of splattering raindrops reduced and the precipitation stopped. The boy didn’t wait for the rain to stop completely and walked into the climactic raindrops gleefully. I stared at his retreating back till I lost sight of him. I looked up at the clock and realised it was way past my tea time. I got up, went to the kitchen, came back with a steaming cup of tea, and sat beside the window, yet again.
~ Fahima Yousouf