Rain falls in memoriam

Rain falls in memoriam

I watched on as the dark grey clouds gathered over the horizon and rolled in, with it came the cold winds that smelled of old friendship. The clouds brimming, the onerous cacophony of birds rushing home, lightning that tear open the heavens and a brief lull that before the heavy sky gave way.

Rain brings with it a lot of memories, memories of friendship, melancholic love, poignant nostalgia of home. So much of my past smells like petrichor, is punctuated by thunder and sounds like the sweet whisper of the falling rain. Having lived in Kerala all of my childhood, rain is a not a choice, you either end up loving it or hating it, either way so much of your life happens in the background of the heavy downpour.

The rain has always carried with it the tender smell of friendship, rather than having blossomed under the insistent monsoon, many of my friendships grew due to a shared romance of it and in my recent years as we grew separated by vast oceans and great mountains ranges; a shared nostalgia for it. As I sit here in my balcony, with the rain beating insistently against the rusted tin sheets that sag and creaks as it barely manages to hold off the onslaught, with the sound of dripping water piercing through the deafening barrage of monsoon, the windows trembling audibly at the behest of every thunder and my eyes blinded by each lightning, I can feel my friends near me watching alongside with awe in one hearts as the calamitous violence tore apart the heavens tonight.

To say we liked rain is an understatement, we loved it, we adored it, reminisced about it composed endless poetry in its stead. We talk often of our days of lore and in those melancholic conversations our poignant memories of rain often come up. I had always liked to write but I learned to truly love it as I looked to it to describe the rains that fell around us and the emotions that rained in my heart.

My best friend and I, whom of course I married (what a loss it would otherwise have been) had a singular non-breakable rule when we were looking for an abode, that it should have a place where we could in our lazy evening siestas watch the rainfall around us, and sip hot tea as we watch and the winds sprayed it playfully around. We have done it many a time since we met in our college days. Each time reminding we of that sensual evening, as the day gave way and the twilight bloomed, as her fragile warm body pressed against mine, an elixir to the soul as the cold wind blew all around. How many of my fine memories do I owe these rains I know not. I suppose it is only fitting that as we got married the heavenly showered us with a heavy downpour, complete with lightning and thunder. It is no wonder I feel at home when the rain washes the world around me and I can see all too clearly.

So we beat onboats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.

F. Scott Fitzgerald

As I sit here watching the rainfall, sometimes reminiscing, sometimes wallowing, sometimes both remembering those beautiful closing lines by Fitzgerald in The Great Gatsby. I hear the sweetest sound I have heard in my life, I turn around to see the sweetest face smiling at me, her eyes bearing a striking similarity to her mother’s, tracing those all too familiar lines. Barely a year old, perched on her mother, smiling at her dear father as the rain falls all around, I can only wonder how many more beautiful friendships will bloom in the backdrop of my beloved rain.

When it Rained in Chennai

It was raining in Chennai, At least in the part of Chennai where he was living. At first he sensed the day getting darker slowly and steadily. At first he thought it was another ruse played by the rain gods but this time around the things were different. The day got steadily darker and then there was the ominous stillness that always and inexplicably came before the rain. The twilight when the peacocks dance and the birds rush to their nests. The magnificent drum-roll that accompanies any beautiful rain. Then he could hear the soft sound of little rain drops kissing the ground.

He made himself a cup of coffee, slowly pouring it out into a mug like he had all of eternity to do that. He walked to the open balcony of his apartment. He could see that it had started raining harder and steadier. Little droplets were falling from the sun shade as a bunch of little marching soldiers. The outside was hazy and the balcony was partly splashed wet by the rain. He leaned over the railings, his nose almost touching the falling rain. He could smell in the earth that was just been showered upon, the air was thick with the fragrance of dry earth. He sipped the coffee and as the hot liquid game him a shiver down his body as it slowly went down. He closed his eyes and inhaled in the world around him and slowly opened his eyes to the heavens.

The dark clouds were rolling in, thick like a woolen blanket. The sky no longer belonged to Chennai but this sky belonged in his memories. He could see in the sepia his life in another city, his home. He could remember vividly how the rain clouds marched in like Alexander’s great army. The torrential downpour that drenched the land around him poured down his mind. He could feel the coldness of the showers and the amazement with his being was cleansed manifested as a small smile that spread across his face.

He remembered the years of his childhood, the endless days he spent watching the monsoon, the thunder and the lightning playing around like two long lost brothers in their reunion.  He remembered the streams that flowed near his house that was up to the brim and spilling from the sides. He remembered the birds that nested in the mango tree in his house; he remembered how she would hide herself in the thick canopy and how she dodged the falling waters. He remembered the wet trees and the green grass. He remembered the cows and the wet muddy trails that led in the plantations. He remembered his mother and she would get him a cup of tea when it was raining and how they would sip it together and watch the rain perched on their balcony.

He was I and being in Chennai for some time now, I miss the land where I was born and where I was raised. These memories rushed to me in a surge of emotions and nostalgia. I wonder how much more my life revolves around the beautiful monsoons of Kerala.