It is quite cold outside. The breeze is cool and strong, filtering in through the green mesh. The plants outside look fresh, the yellows bright, the greens jade under the threatening sky. The clouds are not hanging low- they are domed vastly, far, far above. They are rushing, rushing across the sky. I can hear birdcalls- chirrups of sparrows, punctuating the whoosh and whine of the fan blades overhead. The koels are silent today.
I woke up to the sound of thunder: so loud and so immediate, the clarity startling. It rumbled across the window, making the furniture rattle, resonating in my bones. It quickened the blood, though not to any end. It simply made it faster, excited, happy: to a day of reading Proust at home, sipping tea and looking out at the rain drumming on the window. The rain drummed for a very short time, big drops plopping on the cracked cement followed by razor thin ones spearing into the soft earth spilling and crumbling within. The trees shivered, didn’t sway. The leaves sprung back like blades of grass in wind. And then everything was silent again.
Time is hardly perceptible. It is 3 o’clock. It was eleven when I started writing this. The sky is still a uniform pearly grey, perhaps just a shade darker, with a tinge of orange staining the white underbelly of heaven. The sky is a construct. There is no dome, only transparent whiteness. Beyond that white lies the infinite studded blackness, something we call ‘space’. There is nothing separating us from space. We are essentially in it, walking amongst it. It stretches for eternity, hence we walk amongst eternity every day. And still we burn and the world burns. It seems impossible, under this non-existing sky.
It is 3:33 pm. Evening has fallen. Evening is here.
Today, the silence forms a womb, protective. It is a silence born of the clouds that have wrapped the earth in a cocoon of cloth. It keeps the static in my mind at bay, distant, rumbling: much like the thunder, except the thunder drowns it out. Today, I think of friends and writing, of reading and literature, of creating and enriching. It is enough. It is enough that my room darkens by degrees in the orangish glow of an invisible sun, setting somewhere behind the clouds. Time is ticking. By the set of the sun the day will come to a close, and my peace will be gone with it, tucked in, zippered away into the womb. Time is ticking, and that makes me appreciate the frowning tomb, the low-hanging clouds all the more.
The leaves are still outside. Everything is still. Something in nature was building up to a storm, that would drown me, drown everything and wash away the external foil, into a river of melodiously cacophonous collective consciousness united with the space we walk in everyday.
The clouds break. The rain starts chattering in sheets again, a constant whoosh, trickling in rivulets down the sides of the walls, falling through the blade-like leaves, uninhibited, silver fingers teasing in to the darkest of spaces, over, under, the yellow flowers quiet, the yellow leaves somber. I am lit up by the computer screen, a halo in my glasses.
The rain drives down, unbending diagonal lines, louder, until it washes away everything except the sound of itself, grey, luminous, beautiful. The thunder is crashing. It is frightening. The leaves jump up and down, in time with the beads. I can feel the spray on my face, at the table. It is soft, light as a beam of light, cleansing.
Lightning licks the sky, serpentine. The water cools the senses. I step into the shower, the regular clinking of the fat tendrils intertwining with my body drowns out the rain. The earth washes away. I breathe in the familiar metallic floral aftertaste of a storm. The window is thrown open, welcoming the outside in.
The sweet drugged smell of wet earth fills my senses. It is healing. It heals an ache, gaping emptiness I didn’t know about until it was filled and I was whole again. The light clears, shifts: shafts of it reaching out urgently, trying to touch the ground.
The birds are chirping. I can hear the quick movements of a car going by, silent as the rain. A rickshaw quacks endearingly. The sounds weave in and out of each other, a tapestry of familiarity, eccentric, benign.
The light has cleared. Clear and white and strong, it beams into the room. Only darkness has set in- a natural dark of an evening sky.
Only yesterday I stood under a cotton-candy sky, all pinks and blues at twilight, the sun sliding down lower and lower almost playfully. And I took a deep breath and thought, this moment. This moment in all its essences. Its silence. Its peace. Its evening stretched out to eternity. Its beauty in its stillness and movement, of the birds, the trees and the sky. It can only be validated if lived. That this moment, that it happened, that I was there and I experienced it seeping through me, into my consciousness.
Today, the evening is still yet mobile, the air a silver stream, the sky a smooth periwinkle washed by the clouds. The clouds have run away, melted. Only the clear transparent dome stands glassy, tall, winking. Somehow, under the shards of this sky, that moment stretches for hours today, immune to time, immune to memory and its cracks, flooding through me, protecting me.
The rains frighten me. The ever-city-dweller, I dislike its melancholy and dirt and the dolorous drop in sunshine it brings. I dislike the claustrophobia of being surrounded by sheets, enveloped in their smothering destructive deluge.
But today I was protected by the rain. Infused by thunder, loved by clouds, intoxicated by the beauty of something I shun.
It was a beautiful day.
I thought I’d suggest some rather excellent websites to create your own rainy ambience at home. Some of my favourites are:
rainymood.com: you can create your own playlist, set against the sound of the rain!
asoftmurmur.com: multiple sounds available here, such as a coffee shop, fire, thunder etc.
noisli.com: the website has two settings: increase productivity, and relax. you can mix and match your own sounds.
You can even have multiple websites open to create a unique mixture of calming ambient noise. Trust me. It’s incomparably sooothing.