Monsoon Dreams

Shalini waited with trepidation for Amar at the Navjot Nagar bus stop. The incessant rains had submerged the tiled flooring where she stood. Her green salwar suit stuck to her drenched skin as if to protect her from cold, icy rain. She saw a few children, just out of school, splashing the water, then walking further laughing. Their gumboots filled with water made a squishy sound now and then, much to the glee of their owners.

Before entering their homes, they would empty all the water into the flower beds. How amazing!

She looked at the earthworms as they cautiously wriggled their way out of their holes and crossed the road carefully, avoiding being squashed under impatient honking vehicles or careless men and women, all in a hurry to reach their safe cocoons, to aromatic tea and crispy ‘pakoras’ treats.

“Amar, you are late again!”, she shrieked but it was carried away by the thunder that had struck for the umpteenth time today.

“Shalini, be thankful that I could come today,” he said disapprovingly.

They walked together in silence.

“Amar, do you remember the time we participated in the fancy dress competition in our school, while we were in Kindergarten?”

“Oh yes!”, he laughed, “You were dressed as Popeye the Sailor. You brought a boat. It fell into the water rivulet outside our school gate and sailed away.” He roared with laughter again.

“I cried on for hours on end. My mother chided me by saying that she didn’t want a puddle inside the house too.”

Both hugged each other laughing, their scents mingling with petrichor, wafting to the rejoicing heavens above.


“Madam has been like this since yesterday night, didi,” said my maid, Aparna.” She has been gazing at the rain for hours on end, laughing without any reason and calling out to some Amar. Who’s he, didi?”

I walked up to Amma and then stopped myself.

What do I say to her? One who regards me as a stranger?

“I think Amma remembers only her past, Aparna. She has some beautiful memories that lie deep-seated in her mind. They have slowly taken the place of her painful present. How blissful!”

I looked at Amma seated by the water-stained windows and said, “Let her live her Monsoon dreams to the fullest.”


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