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Sunday, 17 November 2013

Rain in Doha: Missing walk in the rain...

“The rain to the wind said,
You push and I'll pelt.'
They so smote the garden bed
That the flowers actually knelt,
And lay lodged--though not dead.
I know how the flowers felt,” wrote Robert Frost in the poem “Lodged”. But the rain is Qatar neither said to the wind nor to the people about pelting, for it is never pelting, never pouring when compared to what I have seen back home. Even the slightest drizzle in this desert brings back the memories of thunder crashing, lightning flashing, rain making puddles and children making splashes in India.

The very word rain makes me to think of the smell of soil when the first few drops touch it. It’s been cloudy since morning, drizzling continuously… Watching the rain drops on my window is making me miss home, bring back some sweet memories, the days of making paper boats, dancing in the rain, riding in the rain, walking in the rain…
Rain in Doha, Qatar
Rain in Bangalore was always special, as another person loved it as much as I did. My then boyfriend, now hubby, loved riding the bike with me sitting in the pillion as the downpour lashed the city. Sometimes he dropped me to the office and, picked me back when it rained and we both fondly remember those rainy days… I would love to share those happy moments with our children in future. I want our kids to enjoy the rain the way we are doing. Don’t know if kids today enjoy rain like how we did it back then. Both parents work and in their hectic day-to-day life, I won’t be surprised if they even get time to allow their children to enjoy the rain and enjoy themselves. These days, all I see is the first showers in welcomed by empty roads, as I have seen very few children playing outside in water.

When we were young, I and my brother used to steal ourselves from our parents’ eyes to go out and play in the rain. I remember making paper boats and floating them on the small rain water stream. We never bothered of getting drenched, we never worried of falling sick, we never stopped even after getting scoldings, and sometimes thrashes, from mom. She always worried that we would fall sick, and we never did!

Maybe we had befriended the rain, it was our playmate. It was one season that we longed to eagerly welcome. When we were caught surprisingly by the first showers of the season, it was rather fun: walking on the roads, splashing rain water, not knowing on whom we were standing in the over-loaded bus, reaching the school completely drenched, with water dripping from clothes and hair, wet socks and shoes, entering dark class room, unable to concentrate on the lesson as the rain lashed the windows, eating lunch in the classroom itself, last but not the least, running around and playing in the ankle-deep rain water-filled playground in the last hour for the day, PT period…

The first showers gave us the freedom of not wearing those school shoes. Our teachers usually announced not to wear shoes till the rainy season ended -- after all, the stench of wet socks and shoes made them sick the whole day. We enjoyed every bit of it, as the rain played hide and seek and kept our company while we walked back from the school, got a bus and reached home…

Mom used to welcome us with hot and mouthwatering bajjis or pakoras and it was playtime in the rain again, without listening to her warnings not to play in the muddy water. It was fun to watch her clean the wet floor and cursing the downpour, as it took days together to dry the washed clothes.

But we just enjoyed, enjoyed the first showers, enjoyed the cooler days, enjoyed the water-filled fields and roads. It was heavenly to watch our rose, jasmine, lily, marigold, chrysanthemum plants and banana, coconut, curry leaf, mango, gooseberry, drumstick, custard apple trees dancing in the rain -- their branches dancing to the tune of thunder, flowers, fruits and leaves dropping tiny rain drops making waves in the puddles, small plants grounded due to the weight of rain water -- they danced as if they were giving company to us, they also seemed enjoying every moment of it.

We slept listening to the thunder and rainwater lashing against the windows. The next day would be clear with sunshine or sometimes, the day began again with the rainfall saying good morning to us. Our joy knew no limits… Late to the school? Blame the rain. Not wearing the uniform? Blame the rain. It gave us an excuse from all the corners and we utilized it in all the manners.
Drizzle, drizzle in Doha, Qatar
In between, let me say that there were a few who did not enjoy the rain. They complained about it raining all day, they worried of getting soaked, spoiling their clothes and falling sick… But we never did that, we loved it. Being from farming background, our parents welcomed rainy season, it was the much awaited season as our fields were finally getting some much needed rain.

As we grew up, our love for the rain also grew. College days gave immense pleasure, as we walked in the rain with friends, taking them near the trees in our campus and giving them a sudden rain by shaking the branch and running away… We noticed each and every mood, we loved every single day of the season, we laughed at people struggling with the wind and rain, wrestling with their umbrellas, covering their heads and faces with their jackets, shawls or saree, jumping or running around for shelter from rain, it was like a movie, a beautiful movie live in front of our eyes…

College days ended and it was time to earn something and life took me to Bangalore, where I became busy with my working life, but still I never stopped enjoying that first drop of rain falling on the ground. I enjoyed riding my bike in the rain, as my parents and colleagues worried for my safety. But who bothered? I felt the rain coming from the front, hitting the helmet, making it blur, forcing me to open it slightly so that vapor doesn’t form, with that came the wind and rain droplets splashing my face, penetrating deep into my skin, making my body numb… I shrunk my eyes despite wearing glasses, to check the water getting into them. I just enjoyed riding back home, be it 10.30 pm or 1.30-2 am, after my night shift.

Ah, with all these I realize how much I miss rain in this desert, how much I miss home, how much I miss all those wonderful moments… Every time it drizzles in Doha, I get nostalgic, it brings back so many memories. And I’m loving every little bit of it. So instead of complaining and grumbling, it’s better to follow Vladimir Nabokov’s words and enjoy the season: “Do not be angry with the rain; it simply does not know how to fall upwards.” 

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