Friday, May 13, 2005

Summer Rain

At first it was one at a time. Then it doubled; tripled. And eventually changed into a multitude of droplets coming from the skies above; as if attempting a suicidal down pour. Hitting hard on the dry summer terrain, they first generated an unwelcome cloud of dust creeping up from the ground. The dust was brought down by the droplets that followed, generating a pleasant smell from the soil. Soil also has smell and it needs the rain to bring it out.

The road has taken a bath after a long time and afresh she stood. Vehicles roaring through the wet road created endless colored lines on it varying from red to yellow. And the rain drops which hit on the roofs of vehicles created a secondary rain-fall springing in odd directions. People were in a hurry, trying to reach their houses as early as possible.

Looking at the weeping sky, the young little mouse that stayed near the city drainage duct wondered whether he would be able to fill his stomach. He was feeling hungry. As usual he looked towards the sky, but couldn’t find that big piece of butter up above the sky and the umpteen white ants fighting themselves to grab it. It was all dark, as if some one had killed the entire ants using a fire-torch and took away the piece of butter. Didn’t know how many times he looked at those ants with jealousy. They ate the butter piece there by making its size smaller and smaller and finally finished the entire meal. Later someone put a new piece there. Had I got that, I never would have to hunt down my prey, that too in the night, he thought.

With a gentle lazy yawn, he stepped out from his den. Head out and there he felt his whiskers going down due to a heavy raindrop that got attracted to his whiskers during its fall. The four-legged, swirled his head and refrained from going out for a dinner. With eagerness in his eyes, he looked outside, through the door. As usual the city road was flooded with traffic and as usual people were running here and there. He used to wonder what they were up to. What were they searching for? High funda things, he thought, and started off with a night dream.

pluckkk!! There came this sound which kicked him out of his dream. There was a small ceramic piece that lied in front of his house which broke down with great sound when a bus ran over it. Blaming the bus he turned around and saw a man with gray hair pushing a tricycle loaded with a flat glass sheet on a wooden panel as support. Glass was something he hated a lot. Once he got a crush with a lady mouse he found near a big building. Expressing love, he tried to kiss her and realized that it was nothing but his own reflection in the glass window of that building. To hell with glass! What would have others thought about me! And that day onwards he had always kept himself away from glass. Many a times this glass prevented him from walking off with chunks of cakes from shops also.

He saw the bus trying to overtake the tricycle. But instead of a smooth take over, the bus hit on the outward corner of the wooden pane and the opposite corner hit on the stop light of a car parked by the side of the road and broke the red glass into pieces. It all happened very quickly.

Hearing the sound of the breaking glass, the driver came out from the car. He saw the old man, who couldn’t even realize what had happened, standing by the side of the car with his tricycle and staring at the broken light. He caught hold of the old man and started scolding him for the damage done. The old man’s eyes were yelling that he didn’t know what has happened? The mouse was amazed about the way things happened. He saw the old man joining his palms in front of the driver. He saw another rain taking shape in the eyes of the old man.

Now the little mouse understood the situation. Humans had a particular thing which they put in their pockets and also in strong cupboards. It was made out of the same substance which was found in the garbage bin near his house. They called it some money or so. And the poor man had to give that to the car driver to escape from the situation. Oh that is pathetic, he thought. It was not the old man’s mistake anyways. The car driver forced the old man to park the tricycle by the side of the road. He took him to an auto rickshaw and the three-wheeler went away with them. Where did it go? The mouse wondered.

Somehow he was feeling pity for the old man. He was sure that the old man was going to suffer. He felt sad about the situation and badly wanted to explain the car driver what has actually happened and thus save the old man, but... There had always been a communication gap between rats and humans. To hell with glass, he thought, it is always associated with problems. He was not feeling hunger any more...