I nestled my face against the half open windowpane, a book on my lap as I watched the clouds veil the sun and paint the sky a sharp grey. The wind blew in a stray leaf through my window; it was from the tree that I wake up to every morning. I picked up the papery leaf, and placed it on page 96 of the book I had been reading. It can wait.
Soon, it was coming down really hard. Sudden. Unexpected. Gratifying. I heard it on the tin roof, felt it on my outstretched hand, breathed it in as it soaked the garden, saw it glisten on the new road, and tasted it in a warm samosa and mango pickle.
I watched the rain for an hour, as it cocooned me from everything that bothered me in the recent past. I had said too much, messed up priorities, and hurt many. Relying on a memory that blocked out unpleasant incidents and repressed mistakes, I tried to lead a normal life; but kept on making the same mistakes over and over again. The brain was quick to mask them before I could learn my lesson. I lived in illusions to make it from one day to the other.
I needed this hour of quiet retrospection to break this vicious chain. I needed to feel something fresh and unsullied, that could wash away the accumulating grime of unmet expectations, a shaky self-image and futile hopes. I needed it to unfurl a blank, white sheet of my life; a new start imbibing much needed realizations and a clearer perspective. I needed the rain.
It stopped at dusk, as suddenly as it had come. The evening air, the black outline of the treetops, the lights gleaming on the distant hill, the raindrops on my windowsill, the wetness in my palm; I tried to absorb in everything as I woke up from my reverie.
Switching on the light, I opened page 96 and read on.