All of a sudden the rain starts thumping vigorously on the corrugated tin roof. Though there were dark clouds loomed large on the horizon, I didn’t expect it too soon. Within a second, it seemed as if the sky had poured all their savings. The force of the downpour was weighty.
“A wholesale trade of rainfall,” he said loudly, to make his comment heard.
The banter of thunder and rainfall had suddenly muffled our vocals. He quickly peered out of the window; in a distance, on the road, we can see people running helter-skelter to take refuge in available shade. He rose from his seat and went out on the front porch.
He stayed there for a few minutes; and looked at the floorboard of the porch completely drenched with rain.
“Khii!” he sighed a tired sigh while settling down on his chair. His face was turning pale.
“Are you all right?” I asked nervously. “Is something wrong?”
He looked at me and said morosely, “I wish I could split those dark clouds with an arrow…”
I eyed him curiously.
“…to have the sunshine back on the earth again,” he said, sensing my interest.
“Ha! Ha!”I could no longer stifle my laughter. Still laughing, I asked, “Why arrow, why not Gun?”
He said in a monotone, “Noise pollution, obviously.” He abruptly got up and went outside for a second time.
“Come here, my lord. You must see this!” he asked me gesturing with his hand. The drain seemed too narrow and shallow to quell the sudden uprising of overcharged rainwater. The rainwater had been spilled out onto the ground. Ankle-deep water. The pavement, which leads to the front porch, had vanished into that ankle-deep black dirty drainage water.
“Look!” he exclaimed. “Pepsi bottle. That’s Coca Cola. And there, see those orange colored poly bags. Here comes the blue and green one. All the colors of the Rainbow. How apt? ” he said sarcastically, pointing toward myriad of things carried into the home turf.
“I don’t want to build a dam. There’s enough controversy over building dams. “He said half-despairingly and half-in jest. “Moreover, I pleaded to be declared as a poverty-stricken lifeless gentleman. But it doesn’t mean that I want abundant rainfall. Or abundant wealth. Just basic items only. Basics for Basic people.” He added, grinning widely.
I couldn’t fathom how many snags he was struggling with inside his head. Yet his sense of humor was discernable. I know. I knew he was having his share of misfortune for quite so long but his funniness was still intact. “I was made compelled to marry misfortune. And I begat misfortune,” he once affirmed.
We walked back to sitting room in silence.
“With the water level so high, you may not be able to leave my place without the kisses and caresses of distilled water. Therefore, you have to bear with my lecture,” he warned me. I beamed at him and said “Fine with me,” as the rain played havoc with my plan to trim the hedges.
“I guess the drainage is not deep and broad enough to contain the rainwater,” I expressed my thoughts when we settled down again on our seat.
“I guess you are wrong, my lord” he said. “The drain is deep enough to accommodate ten dead bodies. It’s all those poly vinyl materials, which is blocking the flow of drain. Can we change the topic of our conversation?” he said losing his composure.
“K. What about Playboy bunny and penthouse doll?” I said to light up his mood.
“When people start losing brain power, they often think and indulge in Sexercise,” he snapped back hilariously, making me laugh with him.
“K. I give up,” I said, surrendering myself to him.
So we discussed about the de-learning process of human being for sake of orgasmic ecstasy of material achievements. Libya. Syria. Anna Hazare. Guns and Roses. Myopic pot-bellied politicians and bureaucrats. Mostly, we blamed people including ourselves for our harsh conditions.
In the meantime, the downpour had already stopped. The gloomy weather had already overtaken the stormy weather. “I must be off now,” I said while gathering my things.
He looked up at the sky and said, “They do not look satisfied yet. But don’t forget your parasol. Darn! This Mount Everest of polythene! ”
When I was leaving, I saw him assembling empty PET bottles, packages and poly bags into heaps.
“When two elephants are fighting, it’s always the ants that get crushed. These are not my words, honestly. Borrowed,” those were his parting words.