Ananya cursed under her breath, “Damn the office manager, he had to stop me now!! Now I will miss my bus and god knows how I will get home!!!” Friday rush hour traffic is chaos and Ananya was trying to deliberately miss it so that she could avoid the crowds and chaos of the hustling, bustling workers all scurrying to get home for the weekend in the humid, acrid summer heat. Finally convincing the manager that all the allocated work was complete, all emails sent, Ananya managed to escape the exasperating manager and head for home.
Already late, now she had to dash to catch the bus. The summer heat scorching threw beads of perspiration on Ananya pale face as she ran for the bus, but to her annoyance as she reached the bus stop it sped past with a vengeance almost as if it was smirking at her predicament. Infuriated and exploding with anger she had little choice, either to wait in the muggy heat for the next bus, with no guarantee she will get a seat as it will be packed or start walking. Smouldering in the unbearable heat, Ananya began her thirty minute walk home, the noise of the traffic deafening, the fumes pungent and choking .Cautiously she pushed her way, avoiding the uneven footpaths and shirking the persistent beggars taking over the walkway.
Jostling past the crowds, she had barely been walking for ten minutes, when Ananya heard an almighty roar, a little surprised but she was sure she heard it. It came again, this time definitely the roar of thunder, an angry grumble of nature rumbled over head, it shook the sky with force and might. Within moments, as if a crescendo in the orchestra, a surge of lightening encased the grey sky. Another flash of lightening followed, ripping through the stormy clouds, casting a spurge of blinding light across the blackened sky. The mighty clouds, gallant and bold were unimpressed and unafraid, began to cascade their rains in chorus. In gripping vengeance the lightening, lacerated and ruptured the tormenting sombre sky. In synchronisation rain drops the size of pearls, spilled out of the engorged overflowing rain clouds resembling a gigantic waterfall.
People scurried for shelter, as they heard a continuous almighty growl from the threatening sky. Dodging and ducking people colliding with each other, sought refuge in nearby shop doorways, avoiding the polluted river of mud and brown water, swirling around their feet. The drains overflowed as the incessant unrelenting storm brewed mercilessly as the thunder clapped louder and louder. Minutes seemed like hours, as the storm persistently swept through the town.
Ananya’s clothes clung to her like second skin, her curly hair now lank and dripping stuck to her demure face moulding it to her slender cheekbone. Soaked to the skin and no where to hide, she tried to shield her laptop case from the drenching rain. The ensemble of thunder and lightening continued to battle with each other in a war of anger and rage. Ananya thought to try and flag down a taxi but none were available, the storm had caused a standstill in the already stagnant traffic. Deciding to take shelter in a nearby coffee shop she made her way into Starbucks. She found a corner table by the window and ordered a steaming hot cup of cappuccino and waited for the storm to pass. Not knowing how else to kill time, Ananya played her favourite childhood game. She watched the rain drops on the shop window racing each other to the bottom of the pane.
Finally the rendition of the concert in the sky reached its finale, the thunder and lightening called a truce. The sky now calm and silent graciously made way for the once heavily pregnant rain clouds to give birth to a beautiful crimson sky. The torrents of rain gave way to a fine misty shimmer, cooling the humid summer heat .The twinkling stars boldly pushed their way to glimmer in the night sky once again.
Ananya finished her last sip of coffee and made her way home. The pavements washed with the rains were wet and slippery as vendors began to trade again. People moved away from the shop doorways to carry on their journey, the memory of the walk in the rain etched firmly in their minds.
Copyright © Nayna Kanabar 2009