I still remember my first outing with rain in Bangalore when I came here five years back! It was like “what is this” kind of feeling. It was all of sudden and it was too cold. Looking back now I recall, how surprised I was at the sudden shower or rather upset at being caught unawares without being umbrella and reached home fully drenched.
Back home in Ghaziabad, rain was fun. It was all about taking a long walk around the colony park with one of best colony buddy Jagriti, it was all about cleaning the clogged drains on terrace, it was all about ensuring that the water does not come inside the gallery on first floor, last but not the least, it was all about me going with Adi and playing the terrace cricket at times! We just used to wait for the rain. If I would be in local train while coming back from college and see the clouds covering the town, a silent prayer will go out to ‘Bhagwanji’ to hold on till I reach home. It was all about ‘garam garam chai and pakodas’. It was a relief from heat. It was just about the ‘wow’ feeling. We considered auspicious to get wet in the first rain of the season, no matter what elders would say but we even dragged them at times, if possible.
However, it was a different ball game in Bangalore. I just came to hate the rains. It was all about getting drenched, feeling cold and meandering in the choco block traffic to reach home. Rains would come all of sudden, there would be no clouds and it would just burst catching you unawares! And man! It was chilled; you will feel as if someone has just poured ice cold water on your head. And yes, of course, there was nothing called the ‘first rain of the season’. By the time you know it is going to rain and you plan to head out, it is all over. I started keeping umbrella as a permanent feature in my bag, talk about being clued on to latest cosmetics! I would panic, if for some reason the umbrella goes missing. And how can I forget the over enthusiastic ‘autowallas’, ever ready to rip me apart with my hard earned money. They would charge me moolah for a 5 kilometer distance.
Things worsened when I became a proud owner of a two wheeler. The struggle would be different. It was all about leaving in nick of time to ensure that I do not get wet in the surprise rain. But something changed the perception about rains this year. It was scorching heat which came as a double surprise. I found the heat really disturbing, something I had not seen in last 5 years; the rivers were drying up and the Government said something about the water shortage. So yes, this year I waited for the rains. I thanked God when it rained rather than figuring out how I would go to office or how I would come back from office in rains. I started enjoying my ride on my scooty in rains; it was more of training to get used to riding a two wheeler in rains. It became fun when I introduced the art of getting your hand wet in the drizzle to my 3 year old son. We would just go in balcony and spread our hand in rain and giggle. Life came full circle.
However, the problem of getting wet still persisted. One fine day, my colleague suggested me that I should buy a rain coat. It did sound convenient. The opportunity came in the form of lunch outside one fine day. We finished our lunch in the mall opposite to our office and strolled into hypermarket inside the mall. We were five of us from our team. As we were doing time pass, I came across a shelf full of rain coats. I started trying the rain coats. Soon it became a marathon task to get the finest rain coat. Beena, my colleague almost got inside the shelves to get the right fit for me. Akash started looking at the branding. Bindu and Shilpa started suggesting which looked better on me and which didn’t. Bindu even suggested that I buy a spider man rain coat. At least my son will be happy looking at it. Boy, size does matter after all. Slowly, all the raincoats which were neatly stacked were all spread across the floor, one on me, two on my team mates hand as if they were mannequins. We even gathered the ones which we felt could fit in if I do not get the brand I was looking for. As I was trying one after another, Bindu pointed to the rain coat and said as to why I am inclined to show off the size I am wearing! We realized the size was exactly placed on the left hand top pocket, very much visible! The realizations made us all roll with laughter and it was rejected by majority votes. Admist all this chaos, we almost missed on the rain coat which we had finalized after much hullabaloo. Another customer picked it up. Thankfully, Akash rescued me by telling the other customer upfront, it is already chosen. So, after half an hour of marathon search, lighter by some seven hundred rupees, I came armed with a real good rain coat. Somehow I also managed to stuff the rain coat in my scooty as well; else it would not have served the purpose of being available at times when needed the most.
It is usual, man proposes and God disposes. So, after I bought myself a rain coat, it stopped raining. Each evening, I would peep outside whether it is going to rain or not before I would start for home from office. It didn’t rain for a week! Prior to this, it was raining atleast three times a day. We had started sneaking out for the second tea also when it would rain. But it seemed as if God on purpose had decided to play hide and seek when it came to rainfall.
Finally it happened, rain came and I wore my rain coat! Of all the days, it was a Saturday. As I finished my routine at gym and headed out, I was in surprise. It was raining and it was raining pretty heavy. I had a wicked smile on my face. No wonder the lady who was standing outside looked annoyed at my smile. I had a feeling of a winner inside me as I took out my treasure ‘the rain coat’. I wore as if it was a bullet proof jacket! And man, was I happy when I rode my scooty? I was more than happy; it was finally the inauguration of my prized possession. I looked at others, smiled to myself as I remembered the efforts put in by team mates the other day, the ruckus that we had created inside the shop, the laughing riot we had in the shop. Was I thankful? I felt grateful to each of my team mates for doing it so ‘direct dil se’. It was pure fun.
It was all so good, the rain, the ride in the rain and the rain coat. Finally, the rains became fun all over againJ. I must say, I love rainsJ.