A gentle lilac pallet envelops the office through the skylight windows. A façade of thick grey stealthily creeps in.
“Wow! Look at the color of the sky!” Sheena shrieks. A mundane work day suddenly turns colorful.
“Chai pakora time”, everyone joins the hubbub.
“Hey! Everyone” Sheena screams out to her team. “Spoken to the boss. We all are out by 4 pm today. Let’s drive to the foothills and soak in the petrichor.” She is beaming as the team yowls. “Now hustle. Get the targets closed.”
Gliding to her chair, she moves in closer to the window with the laptop. A pluviophile, it is criminal missing the first raindrops.
Rain intrigued Sheena. Serendipity of growing up in the hills lingers in her heart. The hills let go of their stance when the monsoon knocks. Nature communes. Mist and greenery blankets the canvas. A newness emerges.
Walking away from this beauty had been the toughest decision of her life. Forced by the societal pressure of early marriage, she silently slipped into the darkness one night. Hitchhiked to the nearest bus station before landing in this bustling city. Relentless threats followed. She stood undaunting. Expectedly, family ties were severed.
“A landlord’s daughter running away from home is equivalent to stealing from the temple” Babuji’s last sentence was anguishing.
The initial struggle was expected. Sheena cruised ahead. Despite all success, she pined for the love and blessings of the family. Especially the rains, they enlivened the childhood years where showers, laughter and love merged into a colorful rainbow of memories.
As the team gears up to move, the gentle pitter patter is irksome. For the first time she feels unease as the raindrops tickle her.
“Today’s day four, no sign it will cease.” Hemlata looks at Shivprasad mopping her brows.
Eyebrows tightly knit, lips puckered and palms rubbing against the pastel khadi kurta, Shivprasad gazes at the unrelenting heavens.
Monsoon is a cheer after the exasperating heat. The first raindrops welcomed with offerings, prayer and celebrations. Hemlata had spent the day cooking up delicacies as tears dried midway amidst the heat. How could she not remember Sheena? Her memories rode the waves of bottled emotions. It seemed like a past life. She wasn’t consulted before the estrangement declaration by Shivprasad. A landlord and head of the house, he couldn’t be bothered.
“Hemlata, get my raincoat, quick. I have to take a look at the fields.” Shivprasad hustles towards the foyer. “Village folk are talking about inundation and fields being washed away. The house could be in danger too.” Hemlata steadies herself. “Nahh…..never…….the house? Sheenu lives here…..her soul is always here.”
Shivprasad steps out into the lashing downpour, unheeded. As the torrential rain whips him left, right and center, his warm eyes overflow. Unsure of what lies ahead, Shivaprasad continues in haste. Pathways dissolve under the rising water and so does his ego.
“I will ask her to return tomorrow” Shivaprasad mumbles.
But only if there is a tomorrow!
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