It was a usual evening. I was returning from the office.The best part about the rainy season is the weather. The dark clouds and the pleasant breeze is something the rainy season will always be cherished for.
Have you ever noticed the weather when it is just about to rain heavily? The sky is filled with dark clouds, and it becomes slightly more windy than usual.The trees around you will be swinging as though expressing their happiness about the rain arrival.The weather around me was exactly the same that day. ‘It’s about to rain heavily’, I thought and it began raining heavily the second after that.
I opened my umbrella, but the rain was too heavy for my umbrella to survive, so I rushed to the nearest bus stop.While I was a relief for me to be under the shed, I saw an unusual quarrel going on, in between this heavy rain.A car was standing near the bus stop and a man, may be was in his forties was pleading an old man to come with him.The old man must be in his seventies, was very weak and fragile and could barely manage to walk properly even after holding stick.
The young man said, “ come on Dad, let’s go it is raining too heavily.It might not stop as well.How will you come home ?” and the old man said very harshly, “ I will come on my own.”
“But I am here to take you along.What will you do sitting here?”, the young man said trying his best to make his dad understand.
“What do you mean what will I do? I have many things to do.”
“Then please do them at home.Why here , at the bus stop?”
“You people don’t give me my privacy at home.”
“Dad first of all, you have your own room.And second are you seeking privacy at a public bus stop?”
“At least people here don’t keep on nagging me.Look at that girl..”, he said pointing towards me, “Is she bothering me?” I immediately started looking at the road as if I found something more interesting in the heavy droplets of rains that were pouring.”See people at public places respect your privacy unlike you people.”, he was quite determined to prove his point.
“Okay okay! We will give you all the privacy that you need.Now please will you come?”, the son was still pleading.
“NO!”, said the adamant father.
“Dad, please look how heavily it has started raining.The water might get clogged.You won’t find any autos, buses to come back.”
“You don’t teach your dad what to do and what not to do! I am capable of coming home”, he said rebelliously holding his stick.
“There is no sign that the rains will stop anytime soon.It has started getting dark outside. Please try to understand.”
“No.I will come after sometime, why don’t YOU understand! Am I kid to get lost somewhere?”
“No you aren’t a kid.But it’s not safe for adults even.And Mom won’t take me in the house if I go without you.And maybe she won’t take you as well if you come afterwards.”
“You told her that I was out!!Such a chamcha.”, the old man said.
“Dad won’t she understand it , as you were not at home.Now please can we go?”
“What else can I do now.Let’s go!”
‘Oh! The Lady rules the house!’, I thought.
I found the whole incident very strange and funny.The son seemed very responsible and caring.so it shouldn’t be the case where parents aren’t treated well.It was just the old age.Old age indeed is second childhood. This incident was justifying it perfectly.
The rain was showing no signs of stopping.So I just took the auto and went home.
Those were the days when it had started raining heavily after every 1 or 2 days.
The next day again it had started raining heavily from the afternoon itself.I took the auto from office directly.On my way towards home I saw the same old man walking towards the same bus-stop.It was not only raining immensely but it was windy as well.He could barely manage holding his umbrella in the wind with one hand as he had stick in the other hand.
I thought I must drop him home and asked the auto-driver to stop the auto, but I thought, will he listen to me ?That day he was fighting with his son, why will he listen to stranger like me? While my thoughts were trying to draw a conclusion, I saw a car stop nearby him.I recognized immediately that it was his son.I was relieved and headed home.
Few days passed.Rains were on and off during all these days.I had completely forgotten about the old man as I did not see him again.
One Sunday evening around 5-5 30, I happened to walk-by the same road.Need not mention that it was raining heavily.But I had no intention of waiting for the rains to stop because it was raining like crazy.I was desperately looking for the auto, but all in vain.So I thought let me keep walking eventually I’ll definitely find the auto.While I was passing by the bus stop, I heard a Marathi song playing, “Phulale re kshan maze phulale re…”It is one of my favorite song.My curiosity didn’t let me go by my way and I had to stop and see who was listening to this song in the age of EDM.As I went closer I realized that it was not the original song, but it was the recorded in someone’s voice and I must admit it took me a while to understand that.It was that close to the original.
As I reached closer I saw an old man listening to song on his mobile and I immediately recognised him.He was the same old grandpa fighting with his son that day.But today, he seemed a totally different person to me.He was listening to that song with all his heart.He did not seem a childish old man fighting illogically with his son, but a person enriched with experiences, listening keenly to the song, trying find something in it.
He played it thrice in a row.When he was about to play it for the fourth time, I interrupted. “Namaste grandpa! Are you waiting for someone?”
“No.”, he answered.
“It is raining heavily and it will soon start getting dark too.It would be difficult for you to go home afterwards.Do you want me to drop you home?”, I asked again.
He said, “No child, I’ll manage.Don’t worry.”
I was wondering about what would be the reason this old man is sitting here in this heavy rain and listening to songs if he is not waiting for someone!I think he is successful in his attempt of getting privacy.But why does he need it? To listen songs on speaker? Everything seemed bizarre.And I couldn’t just let go of that curiosity.I asked him, “Grandpa, few days back I saw you at this same bus stop quarrelling with your son.He was taking you home, but you didn’t want to go.And….”
“So has he sent you to take me back?”, he interrupted and instantly the mature look was replaced with that of an innocent kid who won’t listen.
“Arey, no grandpa.I was wondering why do you want to sit here? Why do you come and sit here in this heavy rain? And why are you listening to this song on loop?”, I finally poured out my mind.
There was a slight smile on this face then.
He said, “Years back, me and my wife were waiting for a bus at a bus stop.And it was raining too heavily. My wife is an excellent singer. She started singing this song, “Phulale re kshan maze phulale re….”She has sung many songs before that and even after that. But that day, those words and her voice felt magical. It was an experience which I didn’t have before. I didn’t understand what was so different or special about that day. We both were actually irritated because of the continuous rains.Another pain was waiting for the bus to come.She has the habit of singing anytime,while doing something or while doing nothing at all.And just like that she started singing and everything felt perfect at that moment.”
He continued, “I had loved it so much that I recorded her singing the same song.And I listened to it so that I would be able to enjoy that magic again, but child, it didn’t feel the same.I tried listening to it calmly after few more days, but no, it didn’t create that magic.Then I thought it must be because of that same environment and weather that song must have sounded so good, so I come here during heavy rains and try listening to it, but it doesn’t feel the same.”
He was lost in some thoughts for a long time after that and then said,”You know what child, I think it’s all in the moment.You can never feel the same like you felt in that particular moment.When it’s gone , it’s gone.We can’t create them again. We can only live them.”
I could totally relate to it.My mind started flashing with all the moments I enjoyed and wished would come happen again. But they did not happen, even if I was around same people.
Yes, that particular time is important.You can never recreate it.This must be reason they say live every moment to the fullest.
“Child…”, I came out from the my thoughts with grandpa’s words, “ Will you drop me home? I won’t be able to go.” The mature oldie again became an innocent kid!
And mind you I totally enjoyed that moment!