It was only a few minutes after we came out of the office building to take our customary after lunch walk that it started to rain. And quickly too. Having ventured too far from the office building we tried to find a shelter nearby. After running around here and there for a few moments, we found a tea stall with a big umbrella sheltering it. Like little ants we queued up and scuttled towards the tea shop, to take shelter under the umbrella. By that time, the rain had started to fall heavily.
This was the first rain of the season and we were not at all prepared. Usually, we would have taken an umbrella with us. Or we would have at least gauged the weather before going out for a walk. But not today. Lured by the beautiful weather, cool wind blowing, musty smell of earth in the air, we walked out disregarding the possibility of rain.
And we were taken off guard by the sudden rain that was falling down uncharacteristically heavy. This wasn’t like it usually rains in Pune. Rain in Pune is a song sung slowly, with a melody that is soul-soothing, heart-warming. Its feel soft and velvet such that its drops never fall on you, never hit you. Its touch gentle like the caress of a lover. It is mesmerizing.
So, when we found ourselves stranded in this rain, heavy and punishing, we felt ambushed, tricked by this uncharacteristic rain. Its big drops pattering against the umbrella above. Beating the walls of the houses nearby. Road below. Trees above. Soon there were puddles of water around us. Few passers-by scampering quickly. Their clothes soaked to their skins.
Soon, egged by the growing wind, the rain started increasing its reach to the previously sheltered spot. Including the one on which we were standing. Slapping our bodies with the lashes of rain, half drenching our clothes, head to toe. There was nowhere to run now. Nowhere we could hide. And worse, rain was growing stronger still.
It was then I saw a couple of young girls walking by, ambling, even in this heavy rain. They neither had an umbrella, nor they were wearing a raincoat. Still, they were walking without rush, without hurrying. As they approached in our direction I saw their faces and I realized that they were enjoying the rain. Enjoying the first rain of the season. The curve of their lips betraying the happiness of getting drenched in this rain.
And their happiness was infectious.
Immediately, infected by the joy they bore in their heart, I stepped forward, out of the shelter of the umbrella, into the rain and felt the rain on my face. It was beautiful. Each drop on my face evoking memories of my childhood when we used to run and dance and play in the rain.
As I rushed towards the office,I realized the raindrops weren’t hitting me anymore. The rain had slowed down. And each drop felt like a caress from the mother earth, just the way it should be in the Pune rain, a reminder of how beautiful nature can be, how soul soothing, how heart warming. A smile spread across my face.