Small towns have a way of reminding you why and how you fell in love.
They remind you of the days when you used to ride a bicycle in the rains, drops of water hitting your face like thousands of needles attacking you, blinding you still pedaling frantically. Sans the potholes and bumper to bumper traffic, something that was unheard of then. One could dash at the rate of 30 kms per hour, going up and down the just-inaugurated new bridges, by the lakeside, get lost into alleys and service lanes. One would never mind the water splashing by the speeding vehicles, drenching you more if that were possible.
Balconies, another luxury that you start to treasure once you are ‘Delhi returned’ or ‘Bombay returned’. In small towns the fun of stretching your hand from the first floor balcony to pluck a few neem leaves is a luxury in the cement-concrete-skyscraper jungles. Every home flaunts close to five varieties of trees Neem, Mango and Jamun trees being staple.
The rains leave the green tree’s leaves sparkling clean of dust. It recharges your eyes and lungs fresh. The mild breeze gushes from open windows or net doors. The tipper tapper of the rain drops, is music to the ears. Walking in ankle-deep waters is a joy unexplained. Instead of the dirty and muddy water that brings out dead rats from the subways, the small town rains are refreshingly clear and fragrant.
The joy of walking in the rains with your jeans folded up, unafraid of crap sticking to your feet is exhilarating. With cars and bikes not honking behind your back hurrying you, the rain can be felt a drop at a time, on the cheeks, on the eyelids and ear lobes. The small town rains, wetting your hair and back, trickling down cold and tingly, drenching you with its love from the sky up above.
I am glad I belong to a town called ‘what-which state-where’. It has a sense of belonging to nature, to one of the life-giving spectacles called rain, to be relished and by mind, body and soul. Rains have a way of reminding you what it is to be young, bringing back that smile, the childlike joy, untainted, making you want to swirl. That is why and how you fell in love with it in the first place.