They lay on the terrace floor, watching the skies darken with rain-laden dark clouds. The Sun had been on a vacation since the last few days, the clouds had taken over.
"Why does it rain?" She asked, looking at the dark brown evening sky, which was darkening by the minute.
"You see, the south-west monsoon winds bring in water vapour from the Arabian Sea, it condenses.."
"You are such an engineer re," she cut him in between.
The thing with girls is, that they expect us to know when to be scientific and when to be romantic. He kept quiet, thinking what to say. The soft din of the vehicles on the road below filled up the silence. The problem with living in the city is, you never get to experience complete silence.
"He loves her," he says out of the blue.
"You asked me why it rains, didnt you? It rains coz he loves her."
"The cloud. He loves the earth."
"Oh. But then, where was he till now? I mean, why didnt it rain in the summer?" she asks innocently.
"He was always there. He was here since the earth was here. In fact, the earth was made because of him. The earth gave us life, but the cloud gave her life. And for that, she loves him. At the end of monsoon he leaves her for the cycle of life to continue, that is why you dont find him here in the winter and the summer."
"Ah.. I see."
The wind starts blowing, starts playing with her hair. She tries to fight the wind, unsuccessfully.
"When the cloud comes to meet the earth, he roars with happiness. Hence the lightening. And when he reaches her, he showers her with love. Hence the rain."
"Hmm. I get it."
She keeps looking at the darkening clouds, which have now started roaring. Then she looks at him, into his eyes and says -
"You know what I love?"
"What?" He asks with a hoarse voice, a voice which is expectant.
She smiles mischievously.
"I love the smell of soil when it rains."
He relaxes again, knowing he is not going to hear his name in any sentence related to love yet.
"I love it too," he says. "But I love something else too," he says looking at her.
She avoids his gaze, tries to fill up the awkward silence with words...fails miserably.
"Why does he have to leave her?" She asks.
"Told you na, it's the cycle of life. That time spent without each other, strengthen their love for each other."
"I don't know. I don't want them to separate."She almost starts to cry.
"You would want rain all through the year?"
She remains quiet.
"Do you realise you will never be able to smell the first rains again? There might never be a first rain in the first place."
She keeps staring at the dark clouds which fill up the whole sky. The lightening flashes every now and then, illuminating her face, making her look prettier than she already is.
"Do you have to go then?" She asks in a voice that tells you shes having a tough time holding herself together.
"I am afraid I have to. I will be back before you know it."
"I will be waiting."
She places her head on his chest. He has the world. Her tears cant be held back. The skies crack up.
It starts to rain.
PS- I will be leaving Mumbai in 4 days to pursue my MBA.
It is pouring outside, as I write this.
Please listen to this song, as you read the post. It gives you a heady feeling. Why does it rain?
Editor in chief arshat chaudharyCurrent Issues: girls, mulund, mumbai, short story