Wednesday, January 28, 2004

When it Rains: Then and Now

Today: I have to kvetch now. It’s been raining since morn here. Nature decided it had been ignored long enough and came back in all its verdant glory. The roads are awash, glistening with the purest form of water, pitter pattering on roof tops of cars speeding on the highway. Plants sway with unmasked joy at being watered by Nature itself instead of a desalinated sprinkler slapping harshly at their delicate roots and shoots. Btw I did spot some sprinklers along the road trying to compete with rain drops! Then: It is a sin to sit inside in such beimaan weather. I miss the times with my family, the winter rains in Abu Dhabi and Pa taking us out for a drive, all of us comfortably swaddled in warm jackets, pockets filled with chilgozas and moong phali, Momsie and Popsie turning back every 15 seconds to check we aren’t trying to catch rain drops in our outstretched hands, us pleading and wheedling till Pa stops somewhere and then rush out in a flash, running wild. Rain does that to us, all of us, from Ma and Pa to the youngest brother, that naughty imp. We seem to lose all our senses, particularly the hearing ones, as Ma and Pa have had their share of getting wet and stand in shade, starting with pleasant smiles seeing us jump up and down with sheer wet joy, then move onto voicing their concerns of bathing in winter rain, and then go onto a warming exercise i.e. their tones get scoldier, until they’ve had enough and Pa has to come out from his shelter and drag and dump us in the car. There’s no way any of us can stay indoors while it’s raining, so we drive all around Abu Dhabi, timing our return with final raindrops of the evening. Warm baths, hot chocolate milk and then hitting the sack. Now: Have to fend for myself. Drive in rain is the journey from apartment to campus. No chilgozas, no moong phalli, no Mom concerned of enough layers of clothing to ward of cold. Hot chocolate replaced by a steaming cup of tea. Can’t stay indoors still, a walk in the rain leaves my headscarf wet. And a tell tale feeling in the throat announcing the amad of flu. No Popsie to get a panic attack at the first sniff. No Momsie to attend flu-induced food and drink whimsies and most of all, no bros and sis to get nasty at and attribute the grouchiness to flu. Shukr hai the Sun is out would have wallowed and gone on all day getting miserable missing my folks. I really hope you all are feeling as bad as I am without you, Ma, Pa, Behn Bhaion…sniff sniff…atischoo!


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