I went to bed and woke in the middle of the night thinking I heard someone cry. Thinking I myself was weeping, I felt my face and it was dry.
Ray Bradbury’s words came to me as the rain battered my window last night. I had taken the picture of the clouds in the evening while I waited at the bus stop for someone to arrive. Rain is nothing new in Kerala where I have found my current shelter. From the time I came here four months ago, it has been raining almost every day for some time at least.
There was a time when the rain was romantic for me. The rain has a music that enters your very being and pervades it like an exquisite flavour. While in Delhi, I used to long for the rain. To drench the desert of Delhi with heavenly flavours. To quench the thirst that runs through Delhi’s veins like a paranoid monster. To soften the fossilised souls of the deities that grab Delhi square foot by square foot. To wash clean the insensate idols that encroach upon the rights of people who are like the flowers buffeted down by forces stronger than feeble goodness.
Now the rain has lost its romance for me. I can only hear cries when it rains. The heavens roar thunderously here in God’s own country.
Wherever you go, there’s no escape from the gods. That’s one of the few certainties we have in life. They come, grabbing, snarling, licking the window panes, sucking, sucking your blood.
I make sure that the window is bolted and go to bed. I feel my face to make sure it is dry. I fumble about for the dripping sleep and listen to the ceaseless roar outside. How did my romance mutate into a monster?
That’s life, whispered the angel of sleep. Let me put you to sleep, it said.