A wet Kolkata. A green and grey Kolkata. A new kind of joy to admire the city from the other side of a glass-pane drenched in rain-drop patterns. The humidity of the last few days finally broke free; and it was raining. As bouts of depression religiously frequent Kolkata and her tenants, the rhythm of the morning bustle remained unaffected. The incessant patter was sending orbs of tremor in the puddles of the sidewalks. I realized the swarm of sweating commuters had disappeared as I sat and looked outside.
It was a bathed Kolkata; with the sewage water gushing into street. It was a poet’s Kolkata. The sky scrapers hung their heads before the glorious expanse of clouds curdling out of a steel sky; far beyond their reach. A Styrofoam cup and two paper boats were stuck near a man-hole grid¦ yes; it was raining all over her.
Kolkatta¦she wrung her dripping hair with bare hands and flung it across her shoulder. The drenched sari clung to her in gauzy wonder; she was twisting a little lock around her fore-finger. A little boy with rickets in his bones and twinkles in his eyes ran right into her lap. Her laughter rang in the crystal chimes of a sudden heavy spray of rain. Lifting him lightly she threw him in the air. With a shrill cry of a thunder he broke into a drizzle of acid rain. She drew him back in her arms, kissed his forehead and nudged him back onto the streets. Those liquid lips were still smiling when she twisted her neck, lifted her wet eyes and spared me a glance. The spiked lashes and smudged kohl lines¦don’t I see them every day in different crowds! She smiled. With that languor of her grace she shattered all my prejudices¦and I was just another lover she obliged with her affection and ignorance.
It was raining in Kolkata.
I sat dry and warm inside the bus. Never in my life had I felt the rain beneath my skin, but that morning I was drenched. I know already, that smell of her will haunt me for the rest of my life.