Sudip just got out of the office, struggling with his laptop bag when suddenly he heard the sound of lightning. “Yes,” he thought. And probably just like him, almost everyone in this city of joy exhaled a sigh of relief on that sound today.
Why wouldn’t they?
After so many unbearable hot days, finally, rain was announcing its arrival. All the tiredness got washed away just at the thought of it. Sudip started walking towards the main gate just as the first drop of the first rain of the season touched his forehead. He looked up and all of a sudden, it started coming down heavily. He quickly ran to the nearest chaiwala’s shed. It was raining cats and dogs. Sudip ordered a bhaad (earthern cup) of chai as he lit a cigarette. Raindrops were making a huge bullet firing like sound on the tin shed above and the weather turned a little cool, inviting goosebumps on his hands. He tightened his grip on the strap of the laptop bag resting on his shoulder as he sipped tea.
As he smoked his third puff, he started falling down the memory lane and drifted back to a similar incident which occurred a few years back.
“You aren’t coming?”, Sanjay asked him for the sixth time now. “No,” he said, “It’ll take some time to edit completely. You go ahead.”
Everyone left the office apart from Sudip and the gloomy security guard sitting outside. It was a hot and humid summer Friday evening and he had again missed his third deadline to submit the content, resulting in a sound verbal thrashing from his Assistant Manager. So, quite expectedly, he continued with his work. It was only around 10 pm that he shut down his system and stretched his aching back. Glancing at the clock, he rushed outside only to hear the sound of lightning as near the main gate.
“Yes,” he thought and breathed relief. The rain had been evading his city for quite a few months now and finally, this lightning roar felt like a melody. He moved outside to the nearest chaiwala stall for a quick tea before leaving for home. As he was sipping, suddenly it started to rain heavily. Out of the blue, like a sudden gush of wind, this girl came running under the shed! Sudip just moved aside in time to save his cup of tea from spoiling his off-white shirt. As he started to look annoyingly at the face which rushed in, he paused.
What is that?
That girl-next-door cute look on that face took away his heart then and there. Maybe in her early twenties, that girl’s face came down heavily on Sudip’s heart as the rain came in his city. The chai-cup was still near to his lips but his eyes were on hers. Those Kohl-ladden eyes screamed of love and her hair, yes her wet waist-length hair complemented her already cute and chubby looks.
“Shweta,” shouted her friends, gesturing her to come over. They were willingly getting drenched in rain and were asking this girl too, to join as well. But she denied in gesture and ordered a chai. Just for a single moment, his eyes met hers and under that shed that night, Sudip drowned.
The rain that night washed all the pain and sufferings of the city along with it, rejuvenating it to start afresh.
“Ouch,” he shrieked. The almost burnt cigarette butt burned his fingers, waking him up from his train of memories as he noticed the rain has slowed down considerably now.
His phone started ringing with the tune
“Mor bhabonare ki haway matalo,
Dole mono dole okarono horoshe…”
“Oi, Have you checked the time now?
Where are you?
Come back soon.
I’m starving and you know I don’t start without you.” Shweta said.
“Yes, I’m coming right now. You know this rain reminded me of the day I first saw you.” He said. A pause on the line. It seems she smiled on the other side of the phone.
“ Just come fast okay,” she said. “I think we’ll skip dinner today because it should be you, I and a cup of chai on the terrace will do just fine for the night.” He smiled and blessed his stars.