Being born in July, it's like I found a twin. It always will be the sweetest experience. Undeniably. The ecstatic stinging drops dancing on you, the first ones of the season. Never miss them. Well, yes, even after they tell you about the acid in it.
My first memories of the rain would be going out on my birthdays.. with my father, in the front seat of the car. The wipers going swish swish on the screen, and me leaning ahead to catch up with the changing scene. The precious 3 seconds I could I get a clear view. And nearing a speed-breaker my father would gently push me back with his left hand as he steered with his right. I would look at him and smile.
It always rained on my birthday. And I loved it. Loved every bit of it. With the core of my heart. It would be around half past four in the evening when I'd step out in my birthday glory, all dressed up and shiny. Under an umbrella, I'd rush out to the car and settle back. Like a princess. In her glorious carriage. A carriage shaped like a pumpkin maybe. I was Cinderella. And my 12 O'Clock would last forever.
We would reach the bakery, get the cake. I would always get an extra slice of blackforest pastry to go, and eat it on the way home. All I would see out of the window was black and green. The rain soaked roads. And the highlighted trees. The fresh, crispy crunchy air hitting me on the face. Little droplets of happiness plopping on my arm. And I would burst out laughing in joy.
Then it was ooh-aahing in the balcony with now long-lost friends. We would stretch out our arms to get as many raindrops as we possibly could and then would rub it all over. Sprinkle it on each other. And stand grinning stupidly at the rain.
I was 6 and Dil Se came out. And then I was 7 and Taal happened. I fell more in love the rain. Knee deep. Sinking, maybe. The starting scene in Dil Se is timeless. I fall in love with it more and more, every time I watch it. Though probably I didn't understand much of it when I was 6, it still flicked on some swtich in me. And it has probably made me who I am.
I haven't watched Taal many times but it seemed to as if rain was there for half the movie at least. And it looked beautiful. It was all that mattered. And I live in a place where there's about a dozen trees for a house. And not many houses. Not too close together. The green jumps out of my visions and goes deep inside me. It's like love at first sight all over again. And again.
Life happened when I was 8. It was my new school. It is the most beautiful building I've ever set eyes on. Will always remain that. And it had a special connection with rain. I started school in July. The first year it opened. Nothing can tear away good memories.
I remember rain in a lot of places. At the lake. At home. At school. A number of places outside my city. There is a multitude of sounds and smells that say "rain". That say monsoon. They tell me that life is what I want it to be. I wish I could make a soundtrack of my life. The rain wouldn't stop playing all along.
Remember going back from my friend's house, walking on the street against a strong monsoon gale. Torrential rain slashing through everything. When I finally made it home I wanted to go back out again.
When I’ll look back at my life some decades later, walking in the rain would be an important part of growing up. Whether it was with dreamy, screamy teenage angsty music hooked on to my ears or with just the rain, it had its charm. It was mostly in the nights, when I wasn’t locking myself up in my room. Outside, it was cold, the darkness enveloping me, it was comforting. While I cried about a thing or two, sighed and then let it go.
I remember going outside at 3 in the night, and grinning at the sky like some maniac. I remember telling someone, “I like romancing the rain.” And I sort of of feel he should’ve been confused about if he should be jealous. But I don’t know.
A kiss in the rain. That has made its place in almost everyone’s “things to do before I die” list. I had it on mine too. But I’m not so sure now. Just sometimes. I’m scared if two happy memories would cancel each other out. But I truly hope not. I’ve never been good at math.
Lying in bed, listening to the staccato sound of the pattering rain. While I lay on my bed, and sighed and wished it went on forever. Not many sounds compare. Yes, the sound of someone’s voice in the night. Whispering sweet nothings. Like sometimes the rain does. It imbibes a feeling of hope. It’s like a little elixir, water, when you’re dying of say, scorpion poison, wandering around in a desert. A thousand miles to go. And you find an oasis. But sometimes it’s just a mirage and you can’t quite get there.
It’s unfair how people use the terms “don’t rain on my parade”, or something similar. It’s almost insulting. I also hate the sun after the rain. Well, I hope it doesn’t quite get there as not going aww when you see a cute puppy (yes, now THAT it inhuman).
Last week, there was English class. Torrential unbelievable rain storm. Window. Classroom. Rang bells. But someone was missing. Some things were missing. That sinking feeling of helplessness. As I wake up tomorrow I’d see the rain, I’d stretch my hand out, and live for another day.
It all ties itself up in knots, the insurmountable happiness, the tearing pain I connect with the raindrops. Going for walks with my dog. An occasional game of football in the mud. Catching crabs when they came out. Some in the garden, some in the backyard. But we always let them go back in the evening. For they had dinner to eat. A school to go to. Well, who knows what they get up to. What equals the “rainy happiness”.
People say and repeat the quotation, they walk in the rain so that no-one sees them crying. Well, I walk in the rain so I can stop crying. Crazy stuff. Crazy life.
I’d wake up tomorrow and go out and stretch out my hand and feel the rain. ‘Cause I know it will be there. And it all ends in the sweet realization that every year, around the same time, bringing the same ecstasy, there would be rain. There would be happiness and there would be hope. Even if no one or nothing else is with me. Even if nothing remains. It teaches me to live. It teaches me to love.