It had started raining. And heavily too. I could hear its sound — its incessant pattering on the windows, its continuous thrumming on the roof — a melody composed of the combined effect of millions of tiny drops striking surfaces of every type, at each moment, together, in unison, like an orchestra being played out by a master conductor.
It is the month of March and it is getting hot. But March is supposed to be mellowed. It is supposed to be pleasant. It is the time when winter is waving its goodbyes, when it is done being cold and icy and frigid, and is packing its bags and is leaving to some place far, paving the way for a pleasant time of balmy sun and cool breeze.
But seasons are not what they used to be.
It was the first rain after winter. And in Pune, the rain arrives without any signs or signals. It doesn’t say hello or namaste or bonjour. It just pours on earth at once, without regret, without apologies. It falls on the earth with the ferocity of the embrace of a girl who has met her lover after a long long time. It’s like that reunion. No words are needed at that moment. Just run, arms wide open, and embrace in a hug that precipitates all the yearning, all the emotions at once.
And, I love rains.
I love its onset when the clouds gather in the sky like little children gather in a playground. All excited and bubbly, whispering initially in low-beat thunders, as if like scheming something. And then somewhere, a rogue cloud will incite a brilliant lightening, that slowly starts infecting all the other clouds, initiating a series of lights and thunders, making the ashen grey sky lit-up in a criss-cross of flashing lights among the collapsing rumbling clouds.
Then the rain starts falling. I love its deep rhythm when the rain continues on and on, pouring its heart out, falling on the parched ground, quenching its thirst, mixing with the soil, capturing its essence in effervescing air that produces that musty fragrance that at once transport you to a time in the past, to your childhood, when you used to jump and play and dance under that first rain.
And I love its retreat as it slowly recedes, its force ebbing away to a gentle touch, after it has loved you, loved this earth, with its full passion, leaving in its wake a freshness and glow that reflects on each object, and in every face, around you. The trees are greener, the air fresher. The children hop around the pool of water. Even the adults have a spring in their steps.
While I was enjoying this immensely satisfying scene from my room, sitting on a bean bag, looking out of the window, listening to the Coldpay songs, my eyes fell on a crane at a distant, to that mechanical beast that digs up earth and makes that drone-like noise. It was standing near the foot of a hill that looks out of my window. It was all soaked up and wet, in the rain, lying idle. It never stays idle otherwise. Day and night, it keeps on humming a mechanical sound, digging up the earth, taking the removed soil from one place to other.
Once, I was passing that area, and had asked a person standing near it, about the crane and the work going on there. A new housing society was coming up there, he had told. So they were digging up some earth, clearing some trees. I had nodded absently then, as I was looking behind him, at a sparrow hopping from one tree to another.
As I had said OK and turned back, I’d heard him saying that they were cutting up the hill too, some part of it, to accommodate the foundation for the new buildings coming up there
The conversation replayed in my mind as I looked at that crane behind the curtain of rain.
At that moment, my heart ached and I wished that the rain never stops, that it goes on and on and on; and that crane near the hill lay idle for today, for tomorrow, and for every day after that.