Fun in rain
I am sitting in my study room and watching the rain through the window. I can see the road at a little distance and the children on their way to school, some on foot, some accompanied by their guardians, some alone or with friends and some on their bicycles.
Many of the children are wearing rain coats and hats or holding umbrellas over their heads. School buses, private cars and vans carrying children from far off places are also proceeding to school slowly. Some of the children without raincoats or umbrellas are running fast and taking shelter in the bus stop or under trees on either side of the road and waiting for the rain to stop.
The entire site is so amusing to watch and suddenly my memory takes me back to the good old days when I used to walk along the same road to go to the same school where these children are going to.Having a good rain on way back home from school used to be a great fun. Returning home totally drenched in rain was a kind of adventure that we, few friends, used to enjoy a lot. My mum could understand whenever I allowed myself to get wet in rain, she would tell me off , catch hold of my hand, make me go to bathroom to get changed immediately and then she would wait outside till I came out with dry clothes on and my hair was all dry.
I hated to go to school on Fridays because we had weekly tests and then we would return home with a lot of homework to do. We used to be scared of our History teacher. He used to give us voluminous work to do at home and if not done would give us punishment.
It was Thursday.I was pleased as punch when after returning from school I heard from mother that my uncle would come tomorrow and stay with us for a few days. I knew this time too we would hear from him a lot of stories, especially ghost stories.
Due to heavy rain that started soon after my return from school I couldn’t go out to play with my friends, played jigsaw puzzle with my sister and then sat down to prepare myself for the weekly test. My sister, a few years older than I, sat by my side and helped me whenever I needed. She and I were best of friends, though sometimes we fell out with each other.
After our dinner we played Ludo for sometime. It was still then raining and raining heavily accompanied by thunder and lightening.
I went to bed and prayed to God for the rain to continue. In the morning when mother woke me up I got up from bed lazily and was sad to see that the rain had stopped. The sky was not clear though. I was jealous of my sister as she had already taken leave for the day as dad would take her to an eye specialist for check up. She looked at the sky and told me that it would definitely rain. I thanked her quietly, she smiled.
I got myself ready for school, I would have to go, I didn’t have any choice. I had stayed away from school quite a few times on Fridays on the pretext of bad headache or tummy ache, this time such excuses won’t work I knew.
Two of my friends, Joy and Sumit, came to call me, they were carrying umbrellas, I had to take mine also. Suddenly it started to rain and rain very heavily accompanied by strong wind that caused damage to the umbrellas and we couldn’t hold them up over our heads. We got wet in rain in no time . As we reached the school there was our headmaster watching us all from his office. Soon he came out and to our utter delight declared it a ‘Rainy Day’, meaning a leave day on account of heavy rain and asked us all to leave for home when the rain stopped.
As he entered his Office we ran outside and danced in the rain and walked back home slowly.
What a great day it was, no test, no home work and there was my uncle at home. Quickly I got changed, had dry clothes on and we all sat in the drawing room. Nandu, our servant brought some sweets and hot somosas and my mouth started watering. Tea followed in no time.
It was evening; we were getting impatient to hear ghost stories.My uncle looked at us, smiled and sat comfortably on the sofa. As in the past he started telling usghost stories and he looked so serious. Often he would keep changing his voice , make his eyes really big and laugh differently creating a kind of atmosphere which was frightening and interesting too. Father returned from office and he had also a few stories to tell. He took a seat and so did my mother. We called Nandu who came running, he was excited too and sat there with us listening to all the frightening stories.
The rain continued for the next three days relentlessly making the daytime also so ideal for listening to stories. We couldn’t go out anywhere , uncle was our constant companion and he joined us in the game of ludo and carrom and showed us many tricks with playing cards. Also he helped us make paper boats of various sizes and we let them sail on the roadside which was almost inundated in rain and waited till they looked smaller and smaller and finally went out of sight.
Years have gone past but those wonderful days are still so close to me.