It sure was a hectic evening of sorts. Shopping does take a toll. The moderated temperature in the mall makes the strenuous job of shopping a little easy. Armed with carry bags in my hand, I stepped out of the automatic glass doors only to find that the Chennai skies had opened up.
I was amused by the play of weather that day. I had walked into the mall on a sunny afternoon. When I returned, the scorching bright sky had given way to darkened clouds hosing out droplets generously. A little annoyed with the rain, I quickly reached out to my purse to make a call.
“Where are you”, and I patiently listened to a few excuses. “Fine, I’m waiting by the entrance. Hurry up ok?”, I ended the call.
There wasn’t much that I could do about the rains now. I found myself a little too lazy to head back into the mall as well. Maybe, deep down, I really enjoyed the rain. I took a fancy to watch the hurry-burry of the city trying to cope itself to the unannounced intruder. Little boys were splashing over dirty puddles on the potholed road. Women were cautious and carefully made their way through the challenge.
Bikes went parked and crowds gathered around any available overhead shelter. I saw a few folks reliving their childhood memories of stretching out their hands and catching drops of the water on their open palms. The sight did cheer me up. I no longer felt as grumpy as I felt a few moments ago.
There I saw him. A middle aged, starved , malnourished man battling the rain. He had a torn plastic carry bag that he refused to use to protect his head. What a fool, I wondered. He didn’t seem to mind the splatter of drops hitting his body hard. As the rain intensified, his steps slowed. Honestly, I couldn’t even remember the time when I endured such an adventure. I’ve always looked at the rain behind windows. I wanted to step out at times but that was all there was to that desire. Of course, I wouldn’t dare to step out with the public in the rain. One, it was icky, and two , seriously!!! Naah, I wasn’t that wild a child ever!
The drenched bloke was now my source of amusement. My eyes quietly followed his move. I climbed down the stairs a little to view him walking down the road. He paused near the dirty trash bin. The rain had managed to clean the dirty bin. We could all see it’s color finally. I giggled at the moment. Even the trash bin was clean and yet the city was so dirty.
The guy paused by the bin. He quickly handed over the contents that he so fiercely protected against the elements. She must have been his wife. She looked rather young to be his mother! Anyways, I dint care much.
She took something from his hand. I couldn’t guess what it was. What ever!
He then took the plastic bag and held is wide and open against her head. I saw her gobbling up food. The hole ridden cover was not a fool proof protection from the rain. But yeah, it sure kept her dry enough to eat in peace. The man stood against the rain. He stood tall against the elements. He carried out his task to perfection.
I couldn’t help but wonder if he had had anything to eat himself? I couldn’t help but stay amazed at his resolve to stay a provider. The way he cared for her, it stirred something up.
I got yanked off from my thoughts by the red BMW’s blaring horn. It was ours. I walked towards the door. I opened the door to find Arjun busy on a call. We didn’t say much to each other. He quietly shifted the gear and the car set to motion. We took the same road that the other guy had taken. I saw them up close now. She was his wife no doubt. They both had the most satisfied smile, if I ever saw one.
Arjun, I interrupted my husband,
He signalled me to wait. It was a whole six minutes before we finally could talk.
Tell me , he said.
I smiled . Arjun, I’m thankful for what we are. you’ve made me feel like a queen. It’s just that, sometimes I wonder, after we married, did I find a husband in you and did I ever lose that lover that you were before we married?
I don’t know. I said as I wiped my tears with grace. Never mind, I guess I’m tired from all the waiting.
His phone rang once again.
He let it ring. He didn’t bother picking that call this time around. He placed his hand on my hand.
Felt like a warm assurance on a cold rainy evening!
The rain was all set to stop. A rainbow was all set to appear. The evening was young.