The dark clouds were hung low from the sky. Ferocious thunder pierced the air to unveil its presence as the forked lightning flashed in distance. The dead leaves could not withstand the whirling wind and twirled violently. As the nature proclaimed its blazing madness, the busy road quickly got deserted as people rushed to get shelter. Under the darkly painted sky, she stood all alone like a worn out pillar which had silently witnessed countless seasons pass by.
The scintillating aroma of wet soil filled the air as first drop of rain brushed the top layer of ground. Thunder continued the roar with the drumming music of rain in the background. In no time, rain poured down in torrents.
But she did not move an inch as if her legs were buried deep in the ground. The abysmal darkness infront of her could have scared anyone, but not her. All she cared was to feel something within her that she used to feel once. It was not new to her – The rain the thunder the lightning.. No, nothing was new. But the same rain and thunder meant different when he used to be next to her. The same rain used to be a humming beat to her ears, the same rumbling thunder used to make her run to his arms, the same lightning used to mesmerize her when she used to see it’s reflection in his eyes as a twinkling star, the same wind used to make her close eyes, hold his hands and stand still and enjoy along with him. In fact, they first met each others on a beautiful rainy day..
It was the first day of engineering. She knew that it’s the day where she had to make first impression. She had to observe carefully before making friendship. Surely there would be few groups formed, who already knew each others from school or college. In that case, she would need to judge and find the best group where she could fit in. If she could find a group or a fellow mate who was from same branch as she was, then it’s a blessing. It was like going to a cloth store and pick a dress which best suits you, she thought. But oh boy, it was okay if she got to know that dress was not as suitable as she thought when she bought it. But friends? What would happen if she realized that she was under bad influence and impossible to come out. The whole thought built a tremendous pressure and churned her stomach. A little while later she felt this was silly for she knew that she had a better head on her shoulder. She kicked off the dreary thoughts and sprung up from bed to get ready.
Well, it was an important day for her and it was supposed to go smooth. Hence she chose her lucky dress, a light yellow shade salwar with matching earrings which gave her a confident yet a beautiful and a warm look. As she was tying her brand new Titan watch to her left hand, she noticed that it was 5 minutes to 7AM. She packed up her necessary stuffs for the day and hurried towards the door where her proud mom was holding the lunch box. She left home before she was dead late to catch the local transportation.
Getting to college was an adventure in itself in a rainy season. It had rained all night long and it was still drizzling enough to make anyone wet. She got into the crowded local bus to the college. Bus halted at a bus stop which was at a walkable distance from her college. She opened her flowery velvet umbrella as she got down from bus. She started to walk towards the college. She was just a couple of steps ahead of the bus stop, a fast moving two wheeler rolled over a muddy puddle and the dirt got splashed all over her yellow dress. Her lucky dress was now covered with mud. Helplessness shadowed her and at the same time she cursed under her breath. Since she was busy in muttering some tantrums to the bike rider, she did not pay attention to a guy standing next to her in rain with a black umbrella. She almost jumped seeing him at once. He smiled and asked, “Are you going to college?”. She said without thinking twice that she was talking to a stranger (yes that was strange even for her), “ Yes. But look at me. It is my first day and what a wonderful way of entering the college”. She knew that it was not a good idea to wear a light shade apparel on a rainy day. He tried to have a little chat by seeing her gloomy face, “I am also a fresher. And ya, don’t worry. In a rainy season, these all are common, you know. So chuck it. Let’s go to college and you can make yourself presentable over there. By the way, I am Atharv. You are…”. He dragged it so that she could fill in. She caught the obvious hint and introduced herself. “I am Nisarga”. Both started the walk to their destination.
She had not paid attention to her heart beat rate which was ten folds now. That was strange. Was it because of anxiety of being a novice in the college? Was it because of her “first impression” plan got flopped? Was it because of this guy? The first two could not possibly be true as she was prepared for the butterflies in stomach which college could bring and also it was a stupid notion to even think that heart beats would raise because of her muddy dress. Definitely it had to be the third reason. She looked at him. He was not overly handsome as such that she never had an eye on. He was around 6 feet with wheatish complexion. He had a honey colored eye with a little beard and with a wide grin on his face. He was talking to her all the way up to the college, God knows what. All she could see was his lips movements. She didn’t have a slightest clue in the world as she was lost in him. She had watched few serials based on love stories before. She felt now that she was part of it as she was experiencing something similar. A feeling of light weighted without knowing the existence of herself, the whole world coming to a halt and only him and her, she could see the rain showering in background in slow motion and he was holding umbrella with his usual broad smile. Wow, such feelings did exist. She always thought that the serials showed emotional bullshit just to increase TRP. But here she was, proving herself wrong!!
His special charisma had magic powers and she was far away from the real world. Her name came out from his mouth which broke her trance and brought back to the present. He said, “Hey we made it to the college. It was pleasure meeting you. Let’s catch up sometime. Maybe we can do combined study at the library, if you are okay with it”. She nodded with a smile. Thus their journey began on a rainy day. The rest of it is, as they say, is a history.
The memory pinched her crippled heart. She crossed her arms and wrapped herself tight as though she would shatter into pieces if she left herself loose. Now, she stood there in hope of reliving those memories. It was hard because every time she tried, a new melancholic ripple stirred within her. Now where was he when she needed him the most? Where did he go without saying a goodbye? Was it so necessary to leave? What happened to the “eternity of togetherness”? There were zillions of unanswered questions without anyone to answer.
An avalanche of tears found its way down her cheeks. Now that he was gone, how was she supposed to hold herself up and not become crazy? She had never thought that a day would come where she had to do everything alone. No one to hold her when she was not okay. No one to give her that little push to achieve her dreams. No one to wake up next to. No one to make her laugh with their funny jokes. No one to share her happiness or sorrows. Basically she was all alone again in life. What was she supposed to do? She wanted to run away from everyone and everything. She was done with her life. But then, that stronger inner voice asked, “Was he the only purpose of life? I agree that you both built a great life together.But you could not have his company forever. He was meant to go away. May be this is what will make you stronger. Finally, life is meant to learn and be a better person from your yesterday’s image. Yes, it is not simple indeed. But where is that fighter who resides in you. Gather all the strength you have and get going. Wake up!”.
Suddenly she realized that she was not being exposed to rain and saw a boy through her blurry wet eyes, holding an umbrella over her head. As he put his hand around her shoulder, he spoke, “I was looking for you all over the house. Then I heard the rain battering the roof. It was not hard for me to guess where you could be. I came out only to find you across the street proving myself right once again. Every time it rains, you come out and get a long soak in the rains. I have heard stories from dad about your first encounter with him on a rainy day, how you grew closer and how you eloped and got married. Rainy days like these, hold a special place in your heart. I know it. But how many days will you continue standing in rain? You know that he is not coming back to us, don’t you? If the miracle had to happen, it would have happened in hospital 3 years back when he was in coma. Don’t press yourself. I can’t see you like this. Please let’s go home.” He led the way. As they walked slowly back to home, rain began to recede as if it acknowledged that it was time to draw the curtain for the little play. The dark clouds gave a way to starry sky. The nature was once again calm and the sky was clearer than ever.