Thursday, April 26, 2007

The Wailing - I

She hears the wailing of a child coming from the recesses of the window by her desk at work. The ceaseless crying of the child makes her nervous. It was something she had not experienced before, ever. The day was hot, sweat dripped from her forhead. She reaches for the napkin, then she hears it again. It is an infant, too young to tell if it is a girl or a boy. She swabs her forhead, throws the napkin in the red dustbin below her desk. She tries hard to concentrate on her work. The dealines are approaching, so many peer reviews, so much work left.

The coffee she just got sits there on the desk steaming in a crippled cup. A cup that has folds and creases. Not for long will it stay steaming. The day passes with the sundry events of her job. Meetings, reading innumerable pages of documents, typing lots. In no time, the lunch hour emerges from the glow of her monitor and her computer clock jolts her out of her reverie. The walk to the canteen is uneventful. Her visits to the canteen always rung in one nauseating thought. The time she used to eat the canteen food. A period of disgusting health problems plagued her for months. Now she got food from home. She is close to tears today. Doesn't know why.

She takes a plate from the stand goes to her favourite table just beside the canteen window overlooking the lake. She settles down and is happy she no longer eats the canteen food. The tasty home made food looks and is indeed mouthwatering. Eating by her window was one of the things she liked about her day. The cool breeze from the lake and the taste of spice on her tongue was unbeatable. The breeze is warm today. Halfway through her lunch, she gets a call from her husband enquiring how her day has been. Very well she replies and resumes her lunch. Then, she hears it again. The wailing. Incessant. The unforgiving cry of an infant bitten by pangs of hunger. The food no longer appeals to her. She looks around the canteen, everybody is eating, chatting, going out, coming in. None seem to be bothered about the wailing child. She must be the only one hearing it. She does sit beside the window. Her apetite is diminished. She packs her box and leaves.

Thursday, April 12, 2007


When it rains in Hyderabad, it is lovely. I for one like those evening rains, that start in late afternoon continue till dinner and stop. The night drive gets exciting with wet roads and the cool breeze. The dawn comes with a promise of bright weather, with the rain having washed the skies. It brings a clear sky allowing one to see farther than on a normal day and with those minute details that make you think if your sight has improved.

The morning brings a wet perfume to your sense that is nostalgic. The washed away mud settles along paths and is smooth like the beach sand to touch. The pattern of the water flow still etched on it, tempting you to disturb it. The trees are greener to the eye, the flowers more colorful. The winds of the rain have blown away the weak, about to fall leaves.

The after effects of the rain are beautiful but a few moments before the rain starts, the atmosphere is heavy, breeze bringing the clouds to you. The slight drizzle before the downpour reminds you to take shelter or not. Being at a job, I could not take the liberty of drenching myself in rain. But I did see a couple of people giving in to the luxuries of rain drops on their skins and clothes as they were returning home to the cozy comfort of the dry soft towel and a hot cup of coffee.

I believe rains everywhere tend to arouse similar feelings and sights. Our great-great-great grandfathers, who were farmers, must have waited days and months together to experience the joy and miracle that rains bring to their farms and fields. Maybe this joy transcended into our genes as well and thus we celebrate that rare rain that visits us in the middle of a hot summer. Hoping God gives us more such pleasurable times.