The hilly air gushed around. The mild sun played with a careless peepal beside me and wove pretty netted patterns onto the stone floor. Beyond the broken wall of the once regal fort, a sea of green littered with inglorious specks of human civilization, which extended until my brain changed it’s focus onto the darkening sky. The wind became chilly as I looked up and closed my eyes. Lengthy seconds passed by as a pure droplet splattered on my cheek.
Within a jiffy the entire land was wet. The trees rejoiced a well deserved cleanse, the soil spread it’s divine petrichor and people began scrambling around me as I stood there, hands on the old brick railing, getting soaked.
The water flowing off me seemed to take away a lot with it. Dark things, which are not easily described yet are so abundant. With each passing second, as my clothes began to get heavier, my soul began to feel lighter. My lips curled into a smile, and gradually widened into a laugh – the truest, purest laugh I’d laughed in quite a while.
It is weird how continuity is taken as a measure to avoid drastic changes, yet the most subtle and influential changes happen within great spans of continuity. Between days and weeks of a stifling monotone, change sets in disguised and veiled, slowly pushing out things that were once indisputable. As time passes by everything seems to remain the same, and suddenly one day you reflect and compare and see that you are losing hair, friends, love, and life, not necessarily in that order. Once the realization hits you, acceptance follows in it’s own sweet time.
It’s like finally getting used to the scorching Indian summer, until a drop from the sky splashes onto you and you realise, that everything will be the same, but not really the same.
But I do not want to think about how the monsoon heralds a new change for me. I do not want to think about how difficult it has been so far. I just want to stand there, get drenched, and laugh. I do not want to care that the people around me may think of me as a lunatic. I’ve been through a scorching summer – the longest one so far in my life, and it has left behind burns. The rainwater soothes those burns.
I was used to the summer of my life – burning, scalding, and unrewarding. Toiling under the sun is supposed to be a chore for the strongest, which is, frankly, a blithering lie. It is such a hopeless environment; it ends your will, beats your motivation, and destroys your belief. What sustains you is either a lunatic determination to live, or a dogged discipline to endure. Moreover, the ordeal is lonely. It is not lonely as in ‘no one to talk to’. It is lonely as in the dearth of your own sane voice conversing with you. I repeat, this toil is not for the strongest, for strength is the disguised and veiled change that sets in within this infernial monotone. If you see it through, you see the rains.
But I have a problem with rains. If there’s summer, I can tell that the days will be hot, every day. But if there’s monsoon, it may rain thrice in a day or never in three days. And if it rains for three days straight.. let’s say even someone like me who can manage huge droughts is afraid of a flood.
But the first rain is different. It symbolizes a transition, a frustrating period of time when it doesn’t rain enough to drive out the heat truly, and afterwards the sauna like warmth is twice as problematic – simply because no one is prepared for it. That, is a kind of transition I am in. I was prepared for everything in the past with a few trusted tools in my arsenal, ones which may not be good enough for what I need next.
Case on point – music. I have my own playlist; tailored and stitched to my need. It had every type of music I needed; for the times I was on the road, in my bed, when I was up, or when I was down. But now? That very playlist bores me. Songs which I used to listen on repeat are changed as soon as I hear the first beats. Similarly, things I was extremely excited to read and enjoyed reading no longer caught my fancy. Things that sustained and greased my monotone were now stumbling blocks which halted my progress into the transition.
This problem is very much alike my life conundrum – similar to something I’ve solved before while not truly the same. As much as disguised a change may be, it has the potential to provide me with my counter to it. As much as internal the pain may be, it itself has the requirements to be my medicine. Maybe I need to change my songs which cater to the new rains in my life. Maybe I need different books which talk about the rains.
The first rain, true to it’s fickle self, stopped abruptly. I ran my hand through my hair, sliked them back, and gazed around. The dust had settled, and at least for the time being, the environment was cool. Slowly the warmth grew along with the wind – but it only made me feel cooler; thanks to being wet to the bone. The smile on my face stayed on.
Epiphaines are to life what a surprise, non seasonal rain is to a hot day, they give you a new perspective, a fresh outlook and a sense of relief. But more than that, they provide you with an hitherto unnoticed way of dealing with things – however unorthodox or unconventional it may seem.
That day I learnt that, to avoid the sauna-like unconfortable warmth after the first rains during the seasonal transition period, get soaked in the said rain. Who cares what others have to say? It is my rain. I deserve it.
The transition will be littered with plentiful rains, and as this first rain gave me a great epiphany, I’m sure other showers will defninitely provide more.
I need to search for my rains, keep them, and enjoy them.
If I get a cold, well, that’s another disguised change, and I’m sure I’ll find a way through it too.
Feel it, tame it, love the pain. Breathe it, smell it, rein the rain.