I woke up this morning to the smell of the wet earth lingering in the air. I could resoundedly hear the roof water flowing through the outlet pipe and splashing into the puddle in the lop-sided back-yard patio.The rain lashed against the window and the raindrops coursed their way across the pane in vertical rivulets. The unrelenting ceaseless rain engulfed me. It drowned out the sound of the honking automobiles and the maid bickering with my mother.
I have always loved the rains. I love the way the raindrops holds on to the leaves and roll down gradually into the saturated earth. I can tell all my secrets to the rain. It takes them away to sink down softly into the already saturated sphere of untold stories and secrets.
The rain stopped after a while when I was still gazing out through the window which framed a hazy picture. Everything looked cool and clean. The cluster of wet houses and the dripping trees invigorated my senses. It suddenly took me back to a long time ago. And it struck me how two different eras can be so connected. Memories of the rain tugged me and I looked back to a time which has fade away like the colour of old photographs.
The rains have some amazing memories – memories of walking in the rain drenched and wet landscape, memories of watching the rain cleanse everything. I remember a few memories associated with rains which whenever revisited makes me happy and blithe.
The monsoons always remind me of my school days and my childhood spent in the picturesque hilly township of Wokha, in Nagaland. The perpetually mist enshrouded valleys had a charm which remains etched in my memory still. Our house in Wokha, a first floor apartment was located beside the NH 37. I still remember how I sat for long hours by the window of my room watching automobiles zip past, as the smell of burnt fuel covered the smell of the rain seeped, rural Wokha. Wokha being a very rainy area, the rains used to greet us almost everyday.
The rains there were almost unpredictable. The mornings which were mellow and warm, led to afternoons which were terribly wet. Being misled by the bright and sunny mornings, we often didn’t take our umbrellas to school. The result was that by the time we reached home, the rains would wet us from head to toe! I look back to those days when we walked back home from school without an umbrella in a breezy drizzle. The company of dear friends made those walks more delightful. Perhaps those are the last lucid memories I have of getting wet in the rain unabashedly. We used to walk down the streets in the hill- shirt sticking to skin, fingers all pruned and toes squishing in water. We giggled and jeered boys who were scared to get wet and took refuge beneath the awning of way-side shops. In the street, waves of water looked crystal clear over the asphalt road and pebbles and stones at times obstructed the free flow of the waves. It was a pleasurable sight to see.
I have always attached the rains with music and nostalgia. There are some songs which remind me of the past and the people who lived in it and all the memories of rain which I shared with them. I also end up remembering solitary moments when I watched the ceaseless drops falling from the horizon through my window, with earphones plugged in which blared many of my favourite oldies. I often remember how the rains of Wokha drowned out the sound of our old radio. It was one such rainy day when I was busy organizing my book rack in our first floor apartment at Wokha. The rains were clattering and rocking the world outside. The sound of the running water in the drain below added to the cacophony of the noisily wet afternoon. After a while I suddenly heard the faint crooning of the track ‘Words of Love’ by The Beatles in the quaint, distorted radio. I went ahead and twirled the volume knob to make the song more legible amidst the noise of the pounding rain. I can still vividly remember how I stopped whatever I was doing to listen to the song. Those mundane three minutes of bliss remains vivid still. The rains still ignite and welcome the melody of that song and moment.
And as I stand by the window with the muslin curtains fluttering without care, I can feel the patter of the raindrops on my face. The rain, I believe, is the fragrance of people’s desires. And such are the memories of the rain.