Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Memories of Rain -1

Today its raining heavily.. I love the rain… I love walking in the rain without an umbrella. I love being drenched in it... the rain brings with it many memories...

The patter of the raindrops on my windowpane... the same patter I heard when I was in boarding ... years back.

June month had a peculiarity. School can get leave any day... heavy rain will block the road, Periyar will over flow.. and schools will get closed. One similar day... the rain is expected to get less, and the school to restart. But day-by-day it became worse. Almost all the kids in the boarding have gone home except few of us. The unlucky few were laid back in boarding.
when will your daddy come to see you”? Boarding sister used to ask me every now and then
Sunday” I will say with an aching heart.. (It was no use convincing the sister about something I was unsure, and she never bothered either) though I was bold outside. I used to be scared .. unsure about the things at home. I wished everything is ok back at home. That was the only choice because we never had a telephone at home that time. Even if we had its not going to be of use as telephone is something, which is OUT OF SERIVICE all through the rainy season. Sundays were special for me, because every Sunday my father used to come and meet in the boarding. We will go outside, have lunch from Hotel Ambadi or Hotel Sreekumar. On the way back he will get me “eatables” (a term used more often by us kids in the boarding). While the eatables meant chocolates, chips, biscuits and all colorful snacks to my friends.. it confined to peanuts and dates for me. I used to wish he would get me the colorful biscuits and chocolates I see in the Jacobs bakery. “athokke verum vishamma.. nallathu kazhichu padi” (its all not good. Learn to eat healthy food) is all he will say. He is a great dad for not spoiling me in buying me whatever I want. But he still buys me things that I really need. On the way back to boarding he used to get me my favorite books to read, Bobanum Mollyum and Balarama, two books I never missed. (even now I am fond of the first one). It was an unsaid promise that he will be with me every Sunday if I am in the boarding. He never broke the promise.

Sunday” though I said that I was very not sure if he will be able to come. There was no way to make sure if he will be able to come or not. No vehicles can pass the Periyar unless the water level went down.. and until then I am going to be in the hostel. 3 days have gone by.. rain haven’t stopped. Almost all have gone home. I hated the lonely evenings and nights, I hated the cold food served in the boarding, I hated waiting for somebody to come and take me, when I knew its just a dream.
The school had a wet look, all trees drenched in water, leaves all over the place because of the wind... strong enough to make me fall, if I don’t get hold on to something bigger than me. The Eucalyptus tree, which we used to play SAAT (or the so called hide and seek), been standing there looking handicapped with its main branch cut, a verisimilitude of the heavy rain and storm on the previous day.
It dint look like Sunday. Sundays used to be very fun with the “Vedapadam” class followed by the games. As the climate was bad, sisters dint take us to main kumily church for the Sunday mass. We attended the holy mass in the convent chapel.
I was sitting near the dormitory, which used to be very noisy on other Sundays, now owning a scary death like silence. The only sound that could be heard is patter of the raindrops on the glass window pane.. I saw somebody walking towards my school, fully drenched in rain. It was raining heavily, that I could see him only as a shadow..a familiar one, my heart started beating fast.. I wished its my dad. And believe me it was. I ran all the way through the stairs, the long verandah, and still the longer play ground with my colorful umbrella at hand.
He was fully wet, eyes red over the rain, he had a small packet in his hand, a familiar one.

Daddy, give me two minutes I will pack my things and I will come” I said.

No, you don’t have to. You cant walk all the way” .

Then how did u come?” I was almost in tears.

“I walked all the way, almost swam through the Periyar, came to Valadi.. and I walked. You can’t do that”.

He walked all the way to see me. He never had those sugary words for me. He handed over the packet he had with him... the usual eatables he used to get me every week. I knew what it was.. it would be kadala and eenthapazham.
Another fifteen minutes, he said he needs to leave. I know crying is of no use. He is somebody who will decide once, and nagging won’t change his mind. And I know it’s impractical to walk all the way till home. I wished he stayed back some more time. But I know he won’t.
Adutha aazhcha veendum varaam. Appazhekkum mazha kurayumaayirikkum.” (next week I will come again, hopefully the rain might be better then) Dad said. For a while, we were plunged into the sort of awkward silence that so often accompanies moments of great emotion. I knew he would come on next Sunday, because if said once, it is a word I can trust and he has proved it once more.

Even today he is the same... a man of few words. I see him sitting in the verandah, sipping his kattan kappi, reading the newspaper. It’s a usual if he is at home. He is a self-made person, and he never imposed anything on me. He is a father who always left me free, always showed me the utmost respect.

I see the rain. I love the rain… when I see the rain, I feel the sky is shedding tears. I love the storm.. its rumble.. I love the lightning splitting the sky into half with sword of light. I love the memories, my precious possession ... that I am taken to.


Salik said...

Down at the crematorium
there is a grey metal box.
Inside in the furnace
bodies burn,
bamboo-slats are pushed in
and a frazzle of grey hair
aureoled in fire.
There where love,
skin and bone
are reduced to ash
memory stamped upon
history obliterated.
Where I burnt my father
There the torch is transferred
There when you turn to look back
There is nothing
but the black tunnel of time,
a great big wind of dark
and only the ark to run to.
And the torch
and the howl to show the way.


Your memoir has moved me. Happy for your dad- make him proud of you. Make him happy.

Wish you good luck- and happiness to your father.

Nepali Akash said...

"The patter of the raindrops on my windowpane... the same patter I heard when I was in boarding ... years back."

When I was cooped up in Benson Town, I wrote in my diary these words one rainy afternoon:
"The soft plink plink of rain drops against the window panes reminds me of rainy days in the back in the school dorm evenings."

Going through your paragraps was another journey of Bangalore blues (lol !! u know why.).

So how often do you do budding and mudding? Ahem !!

Nepali Akash said...

** typo:

of rainy days back in the school

Shiby said...

You have a loving father. And he is great too. Thanks for making me read such a lengthy write up, but it is awesome!!!.

preethy said...

hey. nice memory. sweet yet bittersweet.

Just Me said...

What a beautiful story, a story every girl wishes she could say about her father. It's wonderful that you have such a warm memory to cherish.

I, too, love the rain.

... said...

Miss Million said:....

Appears that Salik has become a philosopher.

Nice read Beena.

Beena said...

Salik: I read your “Father & Son : Memoirs”
some of the things what we read, it goes through the mind, and few (like ur post) through the heart.
“But I can't stop wondering about his well being when he is not back home early in the evening.” Somewhere it left a mark. That poem by Champak Chatterjee is also very good. As I said I am sorry about the relation u had with your father. but then nobody gets everything.. when u get something, u miss something equally important..thats what my life taught me.

N.Akash: I guess you are also a boarding product- spent a good part of ur time in boardings, homesick. Am I right? Well how often do u do the mudding and budding? (there is a reason why I asked you this Question)

"The soft plink plink of rain drops against the window panes reminds me of rainy days in the back in the school dorm evenings."
I write when I get the swing of writing… that rain I saw took me to a journey across the years ..

Shiby, Preethy, Just me:
Thanks.. THANX A LOT… I love the memories, my precious possession.

Miss Million: even I agree with that :)


Nepali Akash said...

Yes Beena,
U dam' right !!!
I've been a product of 'gurukul' of our times. Full of nostalgia and deja vu's'.
Mudding and budding? Well not much. Only when I had nothing better to do. ahem !ahem !!
Hey but what's the reason?

Josekutty said...

I know what is being in a hostel.I hate it then, but it is the best memories I have...