Andheri To Colaba – One Monsoon Evening

Feathers danced around in my head as I set off from Andheri this Saturday evening. Much clarity had been bestowed upon my living situation and it made me grateful towards the universe and all its denizens.

6.30 pm wore dark, heavy clouds like a shroud making clairvoyantes out of all who beheld it. The prediction was singular: rain. Lots of it. My Uber ride was going to be a peaceful albeit long one with my tiny driver and his earnest driving style. The tragedy, and there always is one, was that my headphones were playing truant somewhere in my Colaba apartment and the only thing left for me to do during the one and a half hour long ride was to catch up with people I had been ignoring for a while. So I called everyone and their uncles. As I was talking to an old acquaintance, the interrupting, insistent beep of another soul trying to connect with me through the miracle of telecommunication played within my ear.

‘Nush Mom’ flashed on the mobile screen.

I continued with my current call for a few more minutes before hanging up and returning the call of the woman who off late had become a sort of messiah for me. It was her daughter, my supervisor, my close friend, and colleague who answered with a damning, “Dude, you forgot your charger!”

There were dark clouds in my mind now. All of a sudden I had to preserve battery like it was non-renewable resource. I informed the three people who would most take offence at my falling off the grid and then put my phone on airplane mode.

There is much to be said for staring out of the window of an AC car during rainfall. Even if you are joyful, it shall, given time, bring you down to reflections of a melancholic nature: did I spend too much on that dress? Why is my rent so god damn high? Will I ever find the perfect man? Why is Andheri so far?

Everything was going as per plan till we began our approach to the sea link and then: the world vista changed. There was Worli’s skyline hazed out by the moist grey of clouds. It was like someone had smudged the tops of the buildings with an impatient stroke. The sky, had it always been so large? And clouds the perfect pause to a fulmination?

To hell with battery. I whipped out my mobile and began to take pictures. I don’t know what it is about these ethereal moments that make me want to hold onto them at any cost even if it is through the cheapest imprints and saddest pixels.

And there was more to come.

On the sea link to the right, the sun was setting and the sky was streaks of the most magnificent pink-reds, beset with blue-gray clouds. It was another world. Like someone had cut open the horizon and we could for once glimpse a different reality. The clouds and the lights and the colours were arranged to form the breathtaking terrain of a different planet, a planet with arachnid like creatures, perhaps the scene of a war (think Starship Troopers in a gorgeous setting). I opened the window of the cab and took pictures, a strange desperation enjoining my finger to press the capture button again and again. And then, out of nowhere, epiphany! I was so desperate not to miss this moment that I was missing the moment. So I let go of the phone and marvelled and sighed under the drama of the heavens.

There is beauty that holds your heart in a tight fist and refuses to let go. There is beauty that makes you aware of a yearning hum present within your bones that you’ve only just noticed for the first time. There is beauty that makes you forget the ugliness and banality of everything you have ever seen. This was that beauty.

The next panorama was the sombre green light of Haji Ali Dargah set against the sky roiling above the sea. It looked eerie. A beacon, but not of hope. A call, expecting none in return. A symbol, that meant too much to mean anything. This kind of dark beauty made me want to put the entire scene in a crystal ball and watch it, hypnotised forever.

The great monsoon pulchritude is to be seen to be believed.

Rain brings more than just water.

Rain brings stories.

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