Walkin in the Rain… Again..
The movie ended with Aamir prancing around on screen. The credits came up & I walked out, drawn along with the crowd of happy, laughing people, who, like me, had enjoyed the movie immensely. A gust of cold wind hit me from the window on the side on the stairs. I looked out & what I saw confirmed my suspicion.
It was raining.
The monsoon’s arrived here in Hyderabad. Started about a week ago & hasn’t really stopped since. The cold is a weird, seeping kind of cold, something that cuts into your very senses. I like it. I always have.
I wait for this new cold coffee Krushers they’ve introduced, from the KFC below. It’s a special KFC, managed by people who can’t talk nor hear; you have to point out your orders. It’s quite close to our flat, and Anand & I end up here quite often. There’s something about these people, some of who now know us quite well now. In spite of being different from the rest of us, the smile never leaves their faces. I try to think about living like that, in a world where there’s no such thing as sound, no such thing as music, and it fails me. I can’t. It could have been so easy for them to say that they were not good enough, that they were embarrassed, & stay home. They chose otherwise. In our daily lives, we see courage & character in so many forms. This is one of them.
I sip the cold, frothy coffee & walk out into the foyer, where a lot of people are waiting for the rain to stop, or at least slow down. I stand there for some time too, and look around. One small kid loses her balloon in the wind. I grab it & give it to her. She says a shy, cute ‘Thank you’ & runs off to her mother. My eyes fall upon a girl fiddling with her boyfriend’s shirt buttons. I smile involuntarily. He catches my eye & smiles, suddenly self conscious. I take that to be my cue.
I walk out into the rain.
I’m wearing a red, or rather maroon, sleeveless sweatshirt. Hadn’t realised that I’d been wearing this one. Memories have a bad way of coming back to you when you least want, or expect them to. My flat is just down the road, about a five minute walk. I pull the hood up over my head, bury one cold hand into my jeans and sip some more coffee.
I walk past one of my company’s stores. The green neon shouts out at me ‘Heritage Fresh’. The store manager is locking up. It’s about 11. He must just have finished the accounts for the day. He can’t recognize me, not under the hood. I don’t want him to.
I walk on.
Cars & buses go past me in a blur of light & sound, some of which go to Hi-Tech city, the huge IT special economic zone to the west. Client calls from the US & the UK, some of my friends tell me, have to be taken after this time. Bus no. 147 comes towards me, the digital board on its top flickering in the rain, and at last dying.
I sip the last of my coffee & see a trash bin a few metres away. I look around. There’s no one. I position myself, lock my feet & throw the plastic can into the bin. It falls in with a dull thud. I do a Kobe Bryant spin right there. It’s almost midnight on Banjara Hills Road no.2, right opposite the Harley Davidson showroom, Hyderabad City, and if you’d been driving on this stretch of the urban jungle, you would have seen a boy doing a jig in the middle of the road and wondered “What’s wrong with him?”
There’s office tomorrow & I’ll have to go & work. Even if it is a chance to learn & perform, it still registers as another dreary day at the workplace. I just hope that it doesn’t kill this part of me, the part which still loves doing stupid things, which still wants nothing more than a coffee and a walk in the rain to keep smiling. I don’t wanna get caught up in this life, this corporate race. That’s just not me.
The rain’s slowing down a bit
I walk on, pulling my ipod out for the final song of the day. Quite fitting, really, as it’s Adele I stumble on, as she sets fire to the rain..
I let it fall, my heart,
And as it fell, you rose to claim it
It was dark and I was over
Until you kissed my lips and you saved me
My hands, they’re strong
But my knees were far too weak
To stand in your arms
Without falling to your feet
But there’s a side to you
That I never knew, never knew.
All the things you’d say
They were never true, never true,
And the games you play
You would always win, always win.
But I set fire to the rain,
Watched it pour as I touched your face,
Well, it burned while I cried
‘Cause I heard it screaming out your name, your name!