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Gargi Mandal Mukherjee Rain

R

ain evokes nostalgia – not only in the poet’s mind, but in the mind of every single person who spares a moment to watch the rain from his window and lets his thoughts follow their own course. Invariably, he will find, with bewildered enjoyment, that numerous bitter-sweet memories crowd into his mind and jostle for at least a fleeting, if not elaborate, recollection. And even the most rational person will find the sweet smell of moist green lime-leaves, the fragrance of the pale jasmine, khichudi, Rabindrasangeet and paper-boats transport him into a perhaps lost world, an age of mirthful innocence and simplicity. And if his heart is not yet hardened by cynicism – owing to the bitter struggles for survival he has been forced to go through – he will pause, perplexed by an overwhelming sense of poignant purposelessness, timelessness, that slowly, but surely, floods his aching heart. Rain is a season of pain. The pain of having loved, lived and left behind. And it is a dangerous domain that we now tread – a cordoned-off sacred plane of prolonged private suffering. Of longing, languishing and losing. Of overlooking the obvious – that we learn to love by making mistakes. Having happily hypnotized ourselves into hasty attachments and consuming ourselves thereafter in cold flames of keen, cutting selfcontempt. Wishing we had been born wise. And forgetting the fact that we are only human, after all. Rain reminds us of sleepless nights. Of thunder crashing and streaks of sensuous lightning dazzling the desperately scared senses, yet giving way to a dry dreamless thirst that darts across the heart in flickering flashes and makes us peep out warily through the stark darkness within, for only one, two, a few stolen glances at the desolate scene without. And finally going back to sleep with an awed, yet full heart. Rain causes emotional catharsis. We weep because nature is now wild and furious, aware all the while that we are safe and secure ourselves and that the outside world really means nothing to us. Yet the jasmine is merciless – it drains our heart of a year of pent-up anguish – our mortal misery melts. And as the rain ceases, the Phoenix in us emerges anew. To love and lose. Once again.

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