It’s raining outside and I’m sitting at the edge of my bed with a 3-minute breakfast can and a cup of tea in my hand. I have voluntarily switched off the lights in my room so that the light which manages to escape the overcast outside enters through the window and lights my room up just a little smidge. Anyone would say this was odd behaviour but today, I’m remembering something I truly miss.
The carefree rainy days from my childhood in Dehradun
It’s a very specific set of memories. I haven’t really experienced them for years now. Rains in Dehradun are funny because with them come sure shot power cuts. This usually happens because a tree almost always happens to fall on the electricity lines running throughout the city. The clichéd small town picture comes to mind.
Dehradun is anything but a small town now but there was a time when it was one. This memory is from one of those years.
It was raining outside. The light was coming through the window as I lay on my bed. I don’t remember what I was doing. I was doing something, I remember that much. So, the room was not exactly dark but it wasn’t bright enough. Try putting a curtain on your window on a bright day to see what I saw at the time or perhaps, what I’m seeing now.
The air was chilly but not enough to shudder your bones. Just the perfect balance of cold and comforting. The repetitive chatter of the raindrops in the background. We did have a backup power supply but it had run out of juice. It had rained for a long time.
When it rains for the day, there are different phases of rain. The morning is usually the fast-paced fight against the rain to get stuff done, the afternoon is staying in to relax and appreciating it and the night is all about snuggling deeper into your sheets because it’s cold. My favourite part was the afternoon. The memory I just described is what an ideal rainy afternoon looked like, at least for me.
As afternoon would turn into evening, the classic rainy day family snack time would begin. They were lighter times or perhaps, I was just naïve and young. My mother would bring out tea for everyone along with a snack. It would be pakoras or fried crackers or something along those lines. We’d laugh, eat and sip tea for the next hour or so and then we’d all just talk and at times, sit silently and appreciate the sound of nature.
There was a silence to the constant and redundant chatter of the rain. It came from the absence of desire. It came from the absence of the rush. There was no one on the road. No one around it. Just water flowing from all over.
I’ll never be a kid again and Dehradun will never be like that again. Sometimes, we don’t realise that what’s in front of us is our moment or at least one of them. It is only after it has passed that we even get a brink of realisation that maybe this was one of the best things that ever happened to us and maybe it would never repeat itself.
Maybe they mean this when they say money can’t buy everything.