Thursday, July 28, 2011

A Walk in the Rain

It's the usual scene outside Belapur station. There aren't any rickshaws available. It's 10 p.m. The rickety contraptions have gone into hibernation, which they usually do when it pours. Not one in sight. The rain is falling in sheets wetting my shirt, my bag, my back, my trousers. In Bombay rain feels like stab wounds, smarting, little pricks with knives. I stand in a queue which is half a kilometre long. My turn would come only towards midnight at the rate at which the queue is moving forward. There's an inch of water in my shoes sloshing about as I move. Another day has filed past lethargically, another day of work is finished, but the commute isn't. I wonder where all the people came from to my valley which was the greenest and nicest till ten years ago. Urbanisation. My house is around 30-minutes walk from the station, not much, but one must consider that I am tired after a day's tiresome work. The shoes is new and it's biting terribly and I forgot my raincoat.

It's at circumstances such as this that I want to withdraw into a shell and end the day with a bitter prayer on my lips. A prayer, bitter nevertheless. I pray daily. I find it to keep in communion with God, whom I really do believe in. It's ingrained in my psyche, my being, my whole existence depends on this unwavering faith. I pray to God. I want a solution to my problem. 10.30 p.m. A friend suggests we walk. I find his enthusiasm and can-do attitude one of the best in the world. Thank God! We have been friends on our daily commute for over 20 years now, before the invasion of people began into New Bombay. I know his story. He has been sold a flat that was sold simultaneously to two other people by the man who sold it to him. Such treachery prevails in this city of gold. Still he is a cheerful and uppity gentleman, going about his work with the best of optimism. He suggests that we walk.

We walk singing, "Rim Jhim Gire Sawan," and other rain songs. (Aside: as I am writing this I am watching the video of the song and I find there are two versions of it - one sung by Kishore Kumar and the other by Lata Mangeshkar.) Needless to say the walk was a pleasant one though we got thoroughly drenched. The singing and the company helped.

I am @johnwriter on Twitter and John.Matthew on Facebook. I blog here.

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