Rainy days

A trip between our college’s main campus and transit campus requires fifteen minutes of cycling. I have been drenched at least a dozen times while making this journey over the past two years. Once I had set myself the task of calculating the probability, but then I simply accepted it as bad luck. Rain has this way of harassing me at each and every opportunity. When I go to a new city for few months, it keeps me locked up under my roof throughout my stay. When I start jogging, it messes up my schedule. When I play my first match of cricket after two whole years, rain converts the field into a patch of mud.

If rain were a person, I would’ve punched her in the face. But then, she’d be pretty. I wouldn’t hate her as much as I’d want to. I don’t. Maybe that’s why some of my diary gets written on rainy days with a watery mixture of imagination and reality.

Diary, 20th September 2012

I’m miles from the nearest building, when I get the first tap on my head. Then a few on my arms and one on my neck which masterfully trickles its icy way down my spine, under my shirt. I shiver. The road is already deserted, as if it’s all a part of a conspiracy where I am the sole target. Or maybe I’m the only one who ignored the signs. I think to myself “I don’t want to get wet today” and pedal faster. But alas, I don’t get far. Soon it’s raining heavily and a strong wind, as always, is blowing in a direction opposite to that of my destination. Cycling against the wind is a pain in the ass, so I walk.

There is a rock whose shape allows it to serve as a bench. Generally it is occupied by couples, but today rain drove them away, and I gladly accept the invitation. The rock is still warm from the sun and I like it very much. The spot gives the illusion of being alone on the planet. The lush green forest on one side, untouched wilderness as far as vision can penetrate. Open rice fields on the other, extending till the tree line on the horizon. And not a single living creature to be seen. Except the trees. They stand tall, swinging with the wind in a gentle rhythm as the rain comes down with all its might. It comes down upon the solitary road which swerves a few feet away and disappears behind the foliage. It comes down on my parked cycle which needs a wash. It comes down upon me and the rock I sit on. Maybe I need a wash too. The cold stings of raindrops and the icy licks of the wind: nature’s way of making us feel alive.

But then the sun shines. It shines before the rain stops, and it keeps shining afterwards. As I walk my cycle to the hostel, I feel its continuous warm caresses on my wet skin. Let me tell you now that it is one of the sweetest feelings of the world.

Riju

Riding in the rain

Diary, 15th August 2013

The entire college sweated today after the 3.5 km race termed as ‘Freedom Run’. There were more than 150 participants (I think), which coming from such a small community of around 600 students is quite impressive. Even the fat people ran. Then there were people like me, who drank water from a bottle, only to discover that it was one of the checkpoints, and the water was meant for the racers. Afterwards I ran along with the others, so it was pardonable I guess. It was fun.

Later when dark clouds covered the sky, I was thankful that it was after the day’s events were over. I absolutely hate it when rain plays spoilsport. We were all back in the hostel when it started pouring. It reminded me of my cycle. It’s been missing since last week. I get attached to some of my material things, and the cycle was one of them. I wish whoever stole it would just return it someday. Meanwhile, L lent me his cycle which had been rotting in the shade for the last 15 months. It was a lifesaver.

I dislike rain these days. It is a reminder of the sad things in life, especially when one gets to observe it from a distance. We stood and watched the steady downpour for a while, reaching out our palms and cracking jokes. When we got tired, we returned to our dark rooms. My roommates were away, and I fell asleep with Lazarus on the speakers on infinite repeat (unintentionally).

[As the cheerless towns pass my window
I can see a washed out moon through the fog
And then a voice inside my head, breaks the analogue
And says:

“Follow me down to the valley below, You know
Moonlight is bleeding from out of your soul”

I survived against the will of my twisted folk
But in the deafness of my world the silence broke
And said:

“Follow me down to the valley below, You know
Moonlight is bleeding from out of your soul”

“My David don’t you worry
This cold world is not for you
So rest your head upon me
I have strength to carry you”

(Ghosts of the twenties rising
Golden summers just holding you)

“Follow me down to the valley below, You know
Moonlight is bleeding from out of your soul
Come to us, Lazarus
It’s time for you to go”] ^∞

– Lazarus, Porcupine Tree

I woke up after hours. The sky had cleared for few final hours of daylight. There was the usual bright blue which I love so much. That is one of the great advantages of living away from a city. Whenever you look up while it’s sunny, all your worldly troubles disappear.

Riju

___________________

Here are few photos from yesterday, clicked with the intention of putting them up here. As always, my mobile camera has its limitations.

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