That sudden downpour in summer holidays is more than a pleasant memory of mine. I am out playing, it showers without a warning and I raise my arms to embrace the pehli baarish (first rain). Rains bring sweet recollection of childhood days. Jumping in those puddles, being more than enthusiastic to learn how to design a paper boat, floating those boats (my brother’s boat always reached the finishing mark first 🙁 ) and snacking on those bhuttas (corns). If it rained in school hours, it was hard for me to focus on what the teachers said. I used to glance out of the windows and pray that the rain God will continue to bless us even after the last bell. But mostly, rain used to lull by the afternoon. If it rained and my cousins were at my place, we used to beg to our parents to let us go to the terrace and play in rain, baarish mei bheegna (being drenched) was our best time pass. We were sometimes allowed and sometimes not, “No, you will catch cold”. We used to then sit by the window with our hands out to feel the droplets and wait for a plate of pakodas (Indian fried snack).

Now I am a working adult, rains signify traffic jams, snarling traffic jams. Rains mean panic attack w.r.t. to getting late for work. Most of us are busy with our work life, rains come and rains go and we do not even acknowledge the occurrence. Well, who has the time, right? Being drenched is not an option now; I watch those little kids out playing and sometimes think, “Ohh I wish I could join them”. Rains are good only over the weekends, when I can sit by my balcony and savour the pakodas with tea. Let me share a post I wrote on Facebook a couple of years back-

“Surviving Delhi rains!!
So it rained for an hour, all autos decide to go in hibernation, cabs can’t come to your rescue coz of bottlenecks.. You decide to walk n alas, “has Yamuna changed its Course!?!”
You continue to walk where men on bikes gain pleasure by splashing water on passer bys!
Finally a taxi bothers to stop for you,, only to charge 200 bucks for hardly 3 kms..(the taxi driver had the opportunity to earn even more!) Ye Dilli hai mere yaar!!!”

I guess Bhuttas and Pakodas are the only constants between then and now…

Rains then meant shades of delight

Rains now represent glum plight

Rains then, I steer my paper boat’s pace

Rains now, I am stuck in Corporate rat race

Rains then, jumping with joy in puddle

Rains now, how to get rid of life’s muddle

Rains then, a source of contentment

Rains now, maybe I am indifferent to them?

Here is a hope, that one day when I help my kids make their paper boats, I will get to relive those innocent days.. (Ya, I wish they will not just live on iPads and the like)….

(Picture from an article in the dailysignal.com.)