I was sitting by my window and watching the darkening of the horizon. It was only 5 in the evening, but it looked closer to 7. I could see an ant like hurry among the poor returning home. Those who had cycles leaned into the wind and pedalled faster and those who were plodding home, hastened their steps. There was the smell of sulphur from the lightings and petrichor from the surroundings. Somewhere, it was already raining.
She called me just then. Ever since she decided to get married again, she would call me more often. As if the joy of being a missus was raging a war within her with the golden shackles that it comes with.
R2 (she called me that), it’s raining here. I so absolutely love the rains. Imagine, it is raining in midsummer! I am going on a drive with Roohi (her daughter). It will be awesome na?
I looked out of the window. The first few drops from large drizzles had started hitting my windowpanes. My weather wane with bells by the window had started ringing in the wind and I could feel dust in my mouth. I quickly closed the window. I saw a three-member family with a kid in tow running. The husband carried the work tools, a shovel, some cement pans, and such. The wife carried the days provisions. And the kid, maybe three or four was tagging along. And then it started to rain. It rained with a vengeance. I could see the adults slouch and slow down. And the kid trying to hide under one of the cement pans. There was no place to run, no shelter nearby. It did not matter anymore. They just plod on.
Shall I come to your place? Roohi was asking about R2 uncle. We can go out and you can sponsor ice creams. She spoke.
I write about these people often. The ones who are enslaved by our megacities and are fed to its Minotaurs[i]. In passing, by the pavements or behind dingy alleys, I see their blood flow into the city drains. Dead from a bus hit or hunger or lost in their own labyrinthine minds[ii], searching for answers to long forgotten questions.
Schopenhauer had once cited classical Indian philosophies on meaning of life and had concluded that strife is intrinsic to life and only compassion can pave way for positivity. Spinoza[iii] had said that this is it. All of it. There is no secret in death, you are just dead. So, life and how you live it, is all that there is to it. There is no mystery or romance. No great breakthrough stories. Only one more poor family walking in the falling rain, with a child in tow, into some dingy lane, where a Minotaur waits for its evening chow.
No baby, I do not like driving in the rain. Let’s do a rain check please…