Monsoon. Who doesn’t love monsoons in Mumbai? That splash of cool rain drops on your face, that sound your feet make when they walk into a puddle, those sprinkles of water that manage to drench you. All this combined with hot pakodas, and classic old songs, what more could one ask for?
Needless to say, Monsoon is my absolute favorite season! And my parents, find it a miracle, since they distinctly remember me being completely averse to Monsoons, as a child. Yes, I was, once upon a time. I hated everything about it. Right from the dirt puddles, to the way it made your skin moist and sticky. Strange, how the most stringent opinions that we hold, change over time!
So what was it that did change my perspective? It was this one incident that changed everything. I was in 6th grade. As I had a lot of free time back then, I usually enrolled in activities to keep the day occupied. My parents had finally listened to my grunts, and I was allowed to join a Basic Course on Computers. Since I was 11, and my parents found it ridiculous to let me travel alone that far, my Dad used to drop and pick me up.
One fine day, I stepped out of the class building, and as usual, waited for my Dad. Bubbling with enthusiasm, and fresh knowledge, I did not notice that the clouds had begun to darken, and the first rains were about to descend. I waited for 15 minutes, he was late. I checked my pockets, I had two one-rupee coins and that was all the money I had. As I was contemplating my options, a few drops of water fell on my arm. I sighed at the sight, and thought inwardly that this couldn’t have gotten any worse. Quickly, I picked out one of the coins, marched towards a PCO, and called him up. It turned out, that he had completely forgotten to pick me up!
There I was, left completely stranded in a faraway place, angry and a little afraid. It had now started to pour heavily. I stood under the shelter of the PCO shop wondering what to do. I had only one rupee left. I remembered my Mother’s advice and tried catching a rick. She had told me that during emergencies, I could catch a rickshaw, and I could then make the rickshaw-wala wait, collect the money from home, and pay him. I was unsuccessful, in getting a rick. Maybe because I was only a child, and no taller than 4’6″ or maybe because it was raining too heavily, rickshaws just didn’t stop.
Now almost hitting the panic mode, I realized I had no option, but to walk home. My geographic sense, was always a little bit amplified, and hence I knew which road I was on, and how to get home from there. I was on SV road, Malad, and all I had to do was walk straight, until I reached Kandivali station, and from there I could get a bus to home, since the cost for a half ticket in those times was only a rupee. I stepped out of the shop, let the rain soak me up, kept my disappointment in check and started walking.
As I walked, I started getting used to the cold, drenched feeling. I looked around, and it was beautiful! The trees were a lush green, the sky was a grayish blue, and the roads were getting quieter. I saw rainbow-like structures being formed in the mud puddles, and was utterly fascinated by them! When I’d covered half the distance, the rain had slowed down to a gentle drizzle, and I did not feel forlorn. I was surprisingly, enjoying myself. No one was there to disturb me, no one to tell me what to do, no one to guide me, and no one to spoil it for me. I was free, I was on my own. And that was an amazing thing to feel. My roots of independence, trace back to this particular moment.
When I finally reached Kandivali station, what did I do? I did not take the bus, but walked all the way to home. When I entered, my Mom expected Dad to follow. She asked me about his absence, and how did I get home. I was suddenly tense, afraid. I knew my Mom would certainly scold me for doing what I had done. Walked 4 km, soaked in rain, and you could have caught innumerable germs along the way! That is what she would have said. She wouldn’t have noticed my super awesome journey, or my super awesome newly found independence. I am not proud of what I did next, but I told her I came by rickshaw. She was happy to hear the answer she expected, and all was well.
Only for me, it was never normal again. My love for rains, and walking still exists. Many a times, I face a situation where I do not have enough money to travel back home, and I happily take a walk from the station, and go back to that day, and reminisce the memory and smile. No one knew about this, no one did till now. I guess it was time for this little secret, to be out of the closet. 😉
Rain rain, do not go away!
Turn again, some other day!
Little Dhvani wants to play 🙂