Four years in England have meant that I no longer enjoy rain the way I used to. Rain landing on your head like sparrow piss, without rhythm or force. Rain raining without any self-respect, easily escaped with the aid of umbrellas. What kind of rain doesn’t drench you despite an umbrella? The English kind perhaps.
I am not a big fan of childhood. I was glad that the awkwardness and angst ended. When someone talks of wanting to be a child, I can’t quite relate to it. But sometimes when it rains, I am struck by the sudden memory of rain.
Not the adult memory of wet mud or chai indoors.
But of being able to run through slush and the downpour. Of being completely oblivious to the possibility of the world seeing your bra through your wet shirt. Of not bothering about the resultant frizz in your hair. Of not bothering about white salwars being ruined forever. Of actually enjoying the spray of mud and filth on oneself when passing cars driven by louts sped by.
To be fair, there are sports bras, thick shirts and better detergents. And yet, I don’t quite take advantage of it? While in Turkey, I witnessed a sudden downpour, the kinds that you see in India.
A dolby sound system of thunderbolt and lightening ripping its way through a dark conference of clouds. It bursting. And without much warning, rain pouring onto my hair, chair and plate. The electricity went for a toss. And drenched in the evening darkness, I reconsidered my ambivalence towards childhood.
Perhaps there were some good days afterall. I just don’t remember all of them.
Outside, in Gurgaon, the clouds are gathering, conversing amongst themselves and promising rain. But I am a wuss, unlikely to go and get drenched in the rain. Or maybe… I will.