I have a very soothing relationship with the rain. My rendezvous with Rain started in my 5th grade. We had just moved form Jodhpur in Rajasthan to Shimla in Himachal. So right from the dessert and dry dust storms to lush green hills...what a contrast to get used to. I used to cycle to school in Jodhpur. School was a few kilometers away but I loved cycling. It was so liberating to be able to go to school without any supervision. My fathers Sepoy used to follow me with my brother on his cycle, almost every single day I would cycle far ahead and wait for them to catch up once reaching school. He would come home and complain to Dad every single day. Then we moved to the mountain where cycling was certainly not an option. It was packed away and put in some army godown till next posting.
It is here in the massive mountains I had my first experience of torrential rains. It would rain so hard that in spite of being dressed in gumboots and raincoats we used to reach school absolutely drenched. Water would fill up in the boots and we would be running with water in them. Making splotchy sounds. Then on reaching school, the kids would all huddle near the Angethi/fireplace and try to dry up. Wet hair, water in boots and the raincoats piled up in the corner. I can still feel the teacher wringing the water out of my two plaits.
Our school had tin roof. As soon as it would start to rain the sound of the beating rain on the roof would take over and drown the teachers voice. Many times the teachers would stop the class as one couldn't hear a word of what they were saying. I would just trance off. My mind would be wandering outside school. I would imagine me walking over the clouds. Sitting on the top of the rainbow and then I would just jump off...the flight off the rainbow was amazing...I had seen my dad do that so many times...seen him jump of the plane while Parachuting. It felt so easy. So right.
Rain in the hills also always meant that it would be cold and we would sit with hot glasses of chocolate milk around the fire place at home. Chatting nine to a dozen. My brother and I could hear the flying fox settle into her nest right next to our window. The wind would be blowing...some time it would be eerie and at times it would be so magical. Rain had a hypnotic quality to it.
I loved it best when it rained in the night. I always found the sound of the rain on our tin roof so soothing. It was better than any music one had ever heard. Raindrops have this magical quality. I would wake up and listen to it till it lulled me back to sleep. Rain left the earth so clean, washed up and ready to start another day. Next morning we would find a victim who would be standing under a low branch and all of us would jump and pull the branch and the water would fall like rain on the unaware victim.
Every time it rains, I almost always take some time off to connect with it. I need to feel one with it. I need to let it sooth my nerves. I need for the rain to wash away all the garbage. I need the rain to connect with my soul. I need for the rain to hypnotise me and talk to me in the language that only I understand. I need for it to connect me the girl in Shimla...
A few drops of the wet wet rain for the dry dry soul?!!