Memories Relived

1999

It was five-thirty in the evening and I was walking back home from office. This is my everyday routine. It was pouring out of the heavens. It had been raining from morning. You might ask me what was so special about this. I've been in Dublin for over a year now and I have never seen rains like this.

No! I did not say that it does not rain here. It does, and it rains every other day or at least when ever it feels like, but never so heavily. I can walk in the rain for half an hour without an umbrella and still not get drenched, that is the intensity of rains here! Today it must be around 10 degrees C. Because of the wind I felt as though it was much colder. I was dressed typically for an Indian summer, in a cotton shirt and a trouser. The only protective layer that I had was a simple rain jacket, which covered my head and half my torso.

I was shivering. I was dying to go home and have something hot. I ran into the shop to buy milk. As I walked in I decided to take the bus instead of walking home. I wanted to stay inside this shop forever as it was nice and warm and dry inside. But I had to go. As I was walking out, something struck me as a flash. I changed my decision. I was going to walk! Walking in the rain! How long was it since I did something like this? A couple of years? Or was it more?

As a school kid I loved the cyclonic rains in Madras which gave me an opportunity to get wet. In my teens it was the monsoon in Kochi and when I started working it was the monsoon in Baroda and Bombay and that was it. After I got married I was never given a chance to get wet in the rain. I always loved the feeling of getting wet in the rain, coming back home, having a cold shower and sitting under the fan with my hair open out (I have really long hair).

As all these thoughts flashed through my mind, I started feeling really warm. I slowed down my pace. It was a wonderful feeling. I felt as though I was a ten-year-old kid. The lashing rain and the voice of Kishore Kumar from my Walkman gave me a totally relaxing effect. As I crossed the hospital grounds, I noticed some really beautiful flowers; I picked them up for my vase. I took twenty minutes to walk a distance that normally takes me only ten or less. My trousers were dripping.

When I reached home, my husband was already home from office. He was scolding me for behaving like a ten-year-old (a perfect replacement for my Mom). As I changed into warm clothes and made onion bajjis, I had the satisfaction of enjoying a perfect evening. How many times do we get a chance like this and how many times do we leave all our inhibitions behind and enjoy like this? For me it was just reliving a day out of my teens.

- Shyamala Sathiaseelan in Dublin, Ireland

The views of this column are the author's own, and do not necessarily represent the views of NRI Online.

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