Monday, August 14, 2006

Raindrops keep falling on my head

You’re not alone when you’re walking in the rains, sheltered under an umbrella. There is the constant chatter of the raindrops falling on the rooftop. Pitter-patter, they go on and on. Sometimes (quite often in a city like Mumbai), their chatter often becomes highly abusive, if its pouring. Their grievances, their trials and tribulations…Oh, you feel like turning the umbrella over and mouthing them a few from your own vocabulary.

I almost did so, on Tuesday, as I made my way home from college. Splat, I opened my umbrella and they began. Two armies were battling it out in the war of wits. And hits.

“Vilasrao almost escaped today. Had I not sprung a leak that moment, the CM’s mountain sized water-mark on the sidewalk would have almost caught the media glare. And it would have been proved, that the soft-spoken minister also has a soft-spoken bladder. Damn.. we could have exposed him!”

The other army chirped, with a ‘we-told-you-so’ expression: “Not just him. It’s his entire motley of ministers. Did you know, there’s a special comode in the Mantralaya, which R.R.Patil favours. We think, its some lucky charm or something. But he always heads for that commode everytime he gets a call.”

“Gets a call? From whom?” retorted the other army, with their drops poised in anticipation.

“Call from nature, you assholes. Seems like you havn’t had enough of his moral policing. We guys miss Julie and Champa at D.N.Road now. It was amazing sliding down their curves, slowly and discreetly as they gyrated in the rain…”

Just at that moment, a Matador just whizzed past me, spraying me as I tried to shield myself, with my umbrella. While doing so, the muddy water splashed the fantasies of the raindrop armies out of their reverie. The jolt was quick and somehow in this aggravation, the armies grew even more aggressive and started pounding hard. Tapku, penetrated the umbrella’s cover and alighted softly near my earlobes.

“She’s sent a message for you,” he whispered softly.

“Who?” I asked, puzzled and pleasantly tickled by his presence.

“She, who loves the rains!” Tapku was bubbling with excitement.

“Who doesn’t love the rains, eh? Especially with people like you around, tickling my earlobes as if they were the folds of your…”

“Shut up!” he interrupted. “You very well know whom I’m talking about.”

I pretended to lift one of my fingers to shove him off on to the street, when – “Stop!! Stop, you son of a bitch! At least hear out the message. Then do whatever you want,” he said, frightened. “I was blessed to rest on her lips as she whispered the message to me for the first time,” he said, blushing.

“Is it?” I asked, teasing him. “Anyways, what did she say?”

“After a long days.”

Silence. Tapku was smiling triumphantly.

“What??” I asked, confused than ever before.

“That’s it!” he said, smiling and pattering his eyelids.

“What was the message?” I asked, firmly this time.

“After a long days,” he said, again. “That was the message.”

“Huh?? What am I supposed to make out of it?” I asked, now irritated. Honestly, I hadn’t hoped for something as nonsensical as this.

“I don’t know,” Tapku replied, yet again battering his eyelids in a manner that makes Dukes go wild. “But isn’t it romantic?”

“Romantic, my ass,” I answered disgustedly. “Now, I know what’s your degree of romance.”

“You do?” he jumped, eager than ever before. “Then, tell me,” he beckoned, slowly tickling me cheeks, “what is my degree of romance?”

“Piss off,” I said. And I flung him off my cheek.

Raindrops, I tell you. Every drop with its mildish tenderness, cajoles moments out of your memory. And as you ruminate on them, as to why he / she said so and how they said it, you find yourself, smiling, frowning or even giggling. A walk in the rain is not merely an exercise dodging potholes, but also an exercise jogging across those memories, once in a while. As she rightly said – After a long days. On this occasion, it was said by a friend of mine, not exactly a master in English verbiage, but yet she wanted to put across the thought of meeting after a long time.

Meanwhile the umbrella’s rooftop members had begun on another round of pounding my umbrella. Evidently it seemed, Vilasrao has sprung a leak again.