The Unwelcomed Rain
by Lakshmi Menon
“A rainy day is an equalizer. You don't know what's going to happen. You just take what you can get.”
- Charlie Harvey
The rain begins as a whisper before dawn. When the alarm clock rings at six she unwillingly wakes up from a sweet morning dream. She slips out of her bed, goes to the window and stares at the rain with great disappointment. She somehow hates the rainy days especially if the day dawns with rain. She rubs mist from the window and stares through the clear space. What a cold and miserable day, she thinks.
Raindrops trickles haphazardly down the glass and give a serrated edge to dipping trees and the closed front doors of the opposite houses. She looks disappointedly at the sky where grey clouds form layers to the horizon, like randomly folded blankets. She laughs to herself at the funny appearance of the wet crows sitting at the drumstick trees and plantain leaves as if they are enjoying the early morning rain.
After breakfast, she takes a final look at herself in the round mirror hanging on the light green painted wall. Having satisfied at herself with the plain pink American Georgette sari and the matching sleeveless blouse with the tiny white spots, presented to her by her cousin for the previous birthday, she takes and covers herself with the white Kashmir shawl, and once more turns to the mirror. She corrects the unruly hair,the extra face powder showing on the forehead, and finally corrects the position of her small little bindi,and gives a small smile at her own image reflected on the mirror. Her landlady, the paying guest owner, whom she loves a lot, assures her that she is now smart enough to appear before a Selection Board for the interview of a Receptionist's
post and gives her a thumbs up. She takes her handbag and the black folded umbrella, presented by one of her friends, and reluctantly walks towards the bus stop, hoping to find an autorikshaw soon.
The rain continues its melancholy hiss dripping from leaf to leaf. She finds her usual enthusiasm lost to attend an interview on such a wet morning. Cursing the unwelcomed rain and holding the opened umbrella against the arrowheads of rain sweeping in gusts across the street, she walks carefully holding her sari pleats up, towards the bus stop, passing the gardens with drenched boganvillas, bright orange marigold flowers and the bright red and pink shoe flowers. She observes the delicate petals which heartily opened trustingly to the sun, were now veined with water. Admiring the beauty of nature, she wishes if she was another Shakespear or Wordsworth she too could have written a beautiful poem even at this shivering hour.
Two overcrowded buses come, but pass mercilessly without stopping. Is it because of the unwelcomed rain? The people under the umbrellas in the bus stop continue to wait patiently for the next bus, as there was no other option.
Minutes after, another bus arrives, which is also equally overcrowded, and she finds it extremely difficult to push in as she is cautious about her dress to appear for the interview. Just then another car passes ruthlessly splashing the dirty muddy water over her sari. Her watch shows 9.30 a.m and makes an immediate mental calculation. Seeing her puzzled expression, a kind hearted autorikshaw driver stops in front of her looking hopefully at her. Thanking all the Gods she could remember at that very moment, she gets into the auto with a great relief and makes a move back to her house.
The rain still continues its melancholy hiss.