Sunday, 1 March 2015

Prose 500 2015 Longlist, Ami Misra

Rain

Moving to this landlocked city, after being born and bred along the coastline for all my life meant change in seasons. Until this point in time, my temperament was determined by the moderating influence of the sea. I am still adapting to the seasons in this Karma Bhoomi (place of work.)
Home, situated at the confluence provided me with the assurance that no matter how uncomfortably we sweat in daytime, evenings would always be pleasant. For those of you who do not remember: here is a reminder that land close to ocean always gets its doze of sea breeze. The only time we were caught off guard was during the Monsoon season. Our city was partially submerged every year, due to heavy rain. Known for its spirit, all of us continued to move relentlessly. Maybe pace is a superlative difference between rural and urban areas. Cities are always in motion. Buses and trains wading through clogged water displayed the stubborn resolve to move here. During this season, black clouds didn’t have silver linings. Given that our skin is waterproof and we were residents of this industrious land, most of us continued to work in spite of the downpour. White noise from the pouring rain became the background noise to our daydreams painted on the gossamer windows of these transporting vehicles. Peculiarly so, rain in the home city always fell with a diagonal slant. Even if you covered yourself under umbrellas or roofs, the rain found its way into a shaft and drenched you. It’s almost the end of June! My mother tells me that it has been raining heavily for the whole month at home. 

And in this part of the world, the rain bearing winds have just arrived. Needless to say, most of the rain has been lost to the narrower parts of our peninsular sub-continent. It will rain, but only for a bit. The rain will come and go in short intervals between ostensibly permanent sunshine.
It was a year full of unfamiliar seasons: prodigal winter, dry summer and unrequited (ongoing) monsoon. While the winter was about surrendering to a tranquil sun and jittering in the harsh company of sharp winds; the summer came with burning winds lit up by a tenacious sun leaving us dehydrated yet sturdier than we ever were. As for the monsoon – the rain clouds in this arid city will thunder more than they can deliver. 

I am parched.

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