I stared at the rain soaked sky in the monsoon of the year. The streams of water rolled all over the windows like thin rivulets, as the car kept creeping like a snail along the famous Marine Drive in Bombay. I saw the face of the drowning sky, and thought of another kind of river, one that runs through every one of us, regardless of our origin, all over this earth. It’s the river of the heart. It is the rhythmic pulsations of that muscle trapped within our chests. It spells the desires of the heart.
Long ago, decades ago, I had danced in this same rain. The ankle bracelets in my feet had kept their rhythm to my dancing feet. My hair clinging to my face and back, and my arms outstretched. The sound of the rain falling on the broad leaves of the Banyan tree sounded like an orchestra. That sound, still mesmerizes me whenever I visualize the image of the rain falling on those leaves.
Today, as I drive in this rain, my heart knocks at the threshold of my soul and asks me where I was headed and what I had become. It asks me why I had not stood up and faced the powers that be, about their harsh punishment which subjected me to this life with someone I knew not, and didn’t care about.
My heart had broken on its shame and sorrow. The torment of a life lived in the mire of pretext, blamed me for what I had not done and what I had become. I could not respond. My culture had taught me all the wrong things well. I learnt to accept. I let my vagabond spirit lay still, and didn’t question. I let myself be sacrificed to someone else, and didn’t complain.
And now, when these rains come a pouring and knocking at my threshold, the sleeping spirit awakens and keeps nagging me, “Why, why did you do this to yourself?
ZSA Feb 2016.