In school, it was about running out of the class to quickly stand under the first drops. And then run back because you can’t let the teachers scold you in front of the class. After school, it was about taking your shoes in your hands, roll up your trousers and wade through the waters before they start stinking with the drains overflowing. You just needed to ensure that when you neared home, you braced yourself for mom breathing fire and love on you. On those days mom seemed like a dragon – fuming because I got wet and concerned about me getting unwell.
In Rajasthan, it was about being on my back on the terrestrial sky as the rains and the hail hit me and yet I knew that the deserts would be full of flowers soon. In Bangalore it was about the dripping dew drops in the morning. But Mumbai took the joy of the first rains away. The first rains were the ones that took the pollution from the skies and washed the city streets of months of sweat and frayed tempers. Last year as I had walked out embracing the rains, it was as if the skies were returning whatever filth we had sent towards it.
This year it was about the second rains. I let the first rains go. Like memories of the past. It was time to move on. And the second rains came, to a city cleansed of its anger. As I walked out of the squash court, uncharacteristically angry with the world around me it started. The torrents came without relent and everyone around was standing under the shades and smiling. And it just changed the world around. With a spring in my steps, I walked out and the enormity of the situation hit me. It was the Second Rain and yet it felt like the First.
The laptop was secured and the mind was free. The rains washed away the anger, the frustration and the feeling of awesomeness returned. After about 15 minutes of being the envy of Mumbaikars who were trying to squeeze in between the shades on the closed shops, one rare empty auto screeched to a halt at my side and shivering I walked into it.
But then if you have decided to be a child of the rains, the universe conspires to bring you closer to your elements. On top of a highway the auto stuttered to a stop. And in the blinding rain, with the rains misting the spectacles, the highway monsters with their yellow eyes looked like peaceful puppets. Everyone was smiling.
And I walked for 75 minutes. Under the rain, with broken twigs under my feet and a song in my heart I walked towards inner peace.
For inner peace is sometimes just about being happy and laughing away the blues.
Or midnight coffee. Or a story about two IAS officers and human Jack Daniels. Or watching Prem Amar on a Sunday afternoon.
Inner peace probably is about believing in Friendship.