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Saturday, May 10, 2008

Something nice happenned...

Sometimes, the sweetest things happen to you out of the blue. This happenned a few days back. I had just settled down to eat, when the kitten ran into the room from outside. I put down the plate and ran after it, of course. It ran from room to room - meowing loudly. It was cute - grey and white -absolutely perfect.

Uncle mixed up a little rice and curd and gave it to me to feed the little thing. We put some on the stairs and it ate hungrily -but not much. It kept running away to roam a bit. Then came back to eat. It fought valiantly when I or anyone else tried to hold it.

After roaming around the house a few times, it saw the stuffed pink doll on top of the TV. I don't know what it thought. But a few jumps, some careful navigation and it settled down on top of the TV, next to the doll - nuzzling it now and then. It seemed to like it there. We let it be - though someone or the other did try to pick it up to cuddle - in which case, it wailed till it was deposited again on the TV.

Soon it fell asleep - yup, on top of the TV - Despite the TV running and a crowd of people around. I just sat there and watched it for some time, stroking its soft fur. You know what - that must be one confused cat. It heard around five different languages from various persons around. It heard loads of delighted squeals - each louder than the last, even a few expressions of alarm and distaste. I wonder what it made of all the hungama that its arrival had created. Maybe that why it preferred that doll - warm, furry and quiet! I do hope it comes back..we haven't seen it for two days now, though. :( Read More......

Thursday, May 01, 2008

The Storm

The day had been cloudy throughout. A welcome respite from the heat of the summer sun. A storm was expected. They had even named it - why do they always give it a female name? The usual jokes were cracked about female tempers. I hoped it would break in the middle of the night when the world was asleep and did not care. But, as I walked towards the bus, the signs were already starting building up for the perfect storm.

I reached the bus and had to shut the windows against the dust that the rising wind threw up. The book that I was reading was soon covered with a fine layer of dust. The first sign - the rising wind.

People were rushing on the roads trying to beat the storm home. Umbrellas would not help, they knew. The traffic jam built up rapidly as did the anxiety levels. As the bus moved through the traffic slowly, the wind fell again. The second sign - the calm before the storm.

Vehicle windows were being opened now. The night was turning cold quite abruptly. The summer warmth seemed to have vanished. The third sign - the cold summer night.

It took some time, but the rain drops began very very slowly first. Just a few drops people didn’t bother opening their umbrellas or rolling up their windows. They just concentrated on getting to their home. The fourth sign - the beginning of the rain.

It continued at a slow pace for quite awhile. I hope no one was misled. It slowly increased. Oh! ever so slowly - if you had kept watching it, you would have hardly noticed the difference happening. But take a break from the window and then look again in five minutes - there..do you see what I mean? The rain was pelting down hard. Umbrellas were out on the roads. People without umbrellas were rushing towards every possible shelter. And then, the fireworks started. Thunder boomed all around scaring the kids. Lightning streaked across the sky. The fifth sign - nature’s fireworks begin.

It was suddenly time to step off the bus. I had an umbrella, but doubted if it would be useful in any way. The wind had picked up again to a howling fury when I was busy looking at other things. I rushed through the torrent of water with my flimsy little umbrella. In a few seconds, I was completely drenched. The wind turned my umbrella inside out. I stopped at a crowded bus shelter. I tried to fix the umbrella, finally closing it, slightly battered. No use anyway. Right then, the lights went out in the whole area as if they were giving up under nature’s assault. Just the headlights of the vehicles on the road kept the world from turning black. The sixth sign - the power cut.

There you have it. Every sign of a perfect storm!

Home didn’t seem too far off. Why not make a dash for it? The rain was icy cold. I decided to keep moving - towards the promise of closed doors and a roof above. Visibility was bad, but I crossed the road and stood in front of my little street. Behind me, there were the lights of the cars to show the way; in front, was a deserted dark street. No one seemed to have taken the plunge like I had. The swirling water was about ankle deep and all rushing somewhere. I hoped there were no open drains waiting for me to fall in.

The raindrops seemed to be getting sharper somehow. It took me a few minutes to realize that it was no longer just rain, but hail - tiny pieces of ice were raining down and it hurt quite a bit when they hit. Then, I had to take shelter under my battered umbrella, huddled down on the door step of a house. All doors and windows were tightly shut. And no one else seemed to have been as fool hardy as me. After the painful hail stopped and it was just the rain and lightning, I started again - reaching home - cold, shivering and completely overjoyed. The usually cold house seemed warm. I felt the concern in the voices around me. We ate in the meager light of our cell phones and life felt so good.

Now, I don’t know why I was foolish enough to walk into that storm. I just did. And reaching home, felt like an achievement. I somehow felt exhilarated. Maybe this feeling is what people are looking for when they climb mountains, run marathons, sail the world or explore underground.

Others had waited for the rain to stop. But they weren’t the ones with a tale to tell. For them, it had rained and then stopped. Me? I had walked in a storm.

Maybe, there is something about that unknown darkness that makes you want to walk in to it. Of course, it could have ended many other ways. But, it didn’t. Not yet. So I’ll do it again, I think.
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