Moments of Grace

I don't know if it's genetically programmed into us Indians to love the rain. Whether it comes from thousands of generations of ancestors being farmers, dependant on the rain for the good things of life. But every time I see a grey sky or get the whiff of rain-soaked earth on a puff of breeze, all my senses come alive. Even when I'm abroad in a London or France, where grey skies and rain are cause for drear not cheer, I just see a grey sky and feel a magical sense of anticipation and excitement.

Yesterday, at the end of two weeks of fabuously cool weather in Delhi, which otherwise by 3rd week of April would be excoriatingly hot, we had a thunderstorm, followed by rain. I took myself off to the veranda, where I could sit sheltered from the incredibly cold drops of rain that were falling. Yet I could be a part of it, watching the rain drip down on my plants, watching the graceful neem tree tossing its head about in the cool breeze, like a flirtatious 16 year old, smell the sondhi ki khushboo rising from the wet earth. And I could take a deep breath that pulled that intoxicating fragrance in right to the depths of my being.

When the showers were done, the sun filtered through the grey clouds and lit up the aurroundings with a luminous golden aura. A Bengali friend of mine once told me that this time of day - just before twilight - was considered the best time for bride viewing, and that they even had a special phrase for it in Bengali, which I can't remember now. But looking around at the world in that light yesterday, I understood how beauty could get redefined and magnified, with a trick of the light....

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