Saturday, January 21, 2006

the rainy feeling of snow.


It was 7 in the morning when I woke up and stared at the white horizon. The flakes came down gently, no blizzard. It was rain in slow motion. I made way to the patio with my coffee and held my hand out knowing I would hear echoes. But I heard none. Then I heard it.

" Keep your hand in!" said Amma in the month of June '92 as we travelled in an auto from Thane station and the rain poured down. It was raining as it only could in Bombay and these autos have these weird rain coats of their own. But I still wanted to feel the rain, it was the coldest feeling I had ever had in a long time. Getting wet in the rain is a fantasy for kids of all ages. Its like reaching heaven and back in record time. Not so much for parents. Though that is their moment of zen in the art of parenting.

Thursday :

I made my way to the car wearing my armor of coat, gloves and cap. My car's stuck under 10 inches of snow screaming for help. I only wish it wouldnt. There are somethings you wish would happen, and you want them to happen real bad. I wake up every morning wishing my car wouldnt start. I dont know what I would do if it didnt, but I just wish it didnt. I also wish that every time my phone rings it would be her. Though I dont know what I would do if that happened either. I start clearing the snow from my car when a snow flake gets through the armor and soon many more follow. Within minutes I am wet in sub zero temperatures, but I dont feel a thing, till of course I hear voices again.

" Why did you get wet? Didnt I tell you not to play in the rain?, said Amma with a turkish towel on my head. The point here was I wasnt just wet, I was drenched. I could feel the drops of water run all over my body like worms. I dont know why I remembered this moment, but probably because I was drenched not only in the rain, but also in my tears. I remembered being shooed all around the building in search of my football that June of '92. Sushil Bapat, Vishal Ghosalkar, Sunil Kukreja, Harshad Kale and Mandar Dandekar. These guys were just mean bullies and I was their latest bakra. 'Fido' they used to call me. I finally did get the ball, but wet beyond lies.
I was waiting for Amma to shout at me, but she didnt. Probably she knew how tough it was to be a new kid on the block.


I finally start the car and get moving to work. Driving in the snow is highly over-rated, people say all sorts of scary things. Probably they do a much better job of clearing roads in Denver than in most places, but touchwood its been normal. Considering the fact that my corolla can handle it, I bet any car would. While driving, I see a bunch of kids using an umbrella over their coats and caps. I would bet it had zero utility, but they felt like holding an umbrella, so its all cool with me. Then I hear the voices again.

" Mera Chaatha, mera chaatha", I repeated after Amma for the 10th time. I had no interest whatsoever in reading a poem about an umbrella, rather my umbrella. Our school curriculum used to be full of these things, umbrella, huts, soil, country, books, and how could I forget, cows. An obscure poem, a chapter of prose. I am not criticizing the board, I believe that system made us who we are today. Just that I didnt want to read that poem in my 6th grade hindi book. But I repeated after her, in some weird way I wanted her to stop and stop she would only at the end. Hindi was ok, they had a chapter in Marathi for the all important umbrella, 'Majha Chattri' Now I never knew an ounce of Marathi in my life, never heard anyone speak it, never saw a movie or two. So the first time someone ever tells you about an exam in some weird language, you would wanna bail out. But I couldnt. I remember getting a 4/10 in my first class test, I was all red-eyed at home. I would have expected Amma to give me a piece of her mind, ( I was a 8,9,10 type of a student) but she understood. I remember her telling me to try harder the next time, and I did. There was also this one desperate evening when I had to turn in a submission on a chapter which had Gandhi running around praising cotton. I was at sea, I didnt understand the freaking language, I had to write stuff on my own and I had one night to finish it. and I cried. Amma did that for me. She actually stayed up till 11 I remember writing those answers for me because I just couldnt do it. I dont remember being that helpless ever in my life. Though I fought back, getting a decent enough 54 in my mid terms. Mind you, I still didnt understand the language, but I understood that beating the system was good enough. I actually met my schoolmate Kumudan a month ago and he was still surprised about the same thing. How did you manage that? I told him, the feeling worse than failing at something, is actually asking your parents to cover up for your failure. I dont think he quite understood what that meant, but he didnt ask me anything after that.


I reach work and read Appa's mail about getting my visa receipt and asking me to book my dates. June it would be, or probably July. I immediately IMed my boss asking him if planning my trip for June or July would be feasible. He said it would. and that was that.

I looked at the snow falling outside, and could only just see the rain in Bombay. I might just be able to make it back home this June and relive the monsoons. But for now the snow is my rain. Or its just the rainy feeling of snow.



Blogger Kamakshi said...

you have been tagged :)

5:05 PM  
Blogger Kamakshi said...

oops .. follow the link :)

5:10 PM  

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