Friday, July 30, 2004

Torrents of clean white rain, pouring steadily, hard on the concrete. Sounds like a waterfall as we leap from the car, shrieking and jumping and laughing. Hair curled and wet, hanging in our eyes, t-shirts that need to be wrung and smiles broader than a flooding river. I hit my thumb with a loaded water bottle, the impact makes me wince. The finger is, in a small area, dark red at the base now, a purplish stain seeping up from it under the nail. A small patch, like wine wiped away from the corner of a mouth, leaving behind colour in your pores for a while. Graffiti, ‘this is my calling-card’. This colour isn’t grape juice though, it’s me-juice. And it throbs angrily.

Rain slower, sky still dark. There was, when it began, a strip of light blue at the base of the sky and then a layer of grey. Like two washes laid side by side on a scholar sheet but not blended, two separate streams. Salt and sweet water, there are rivers that flow with both. Salt water doesn’t mix with sweet water because they flow at different speeds.

The boy with the challis is efficient. Ammi is pleased at the snicker-snack of his hands as he quickly digs out folded challis. This is foetal corn position, it crosses my mind. Babies are like that, but challis are like this. Wrapped, in different ways. Somehow covered equates safe. The basket of ash steams, the safety nets ripped back. Yellow goodness says a hot steamy hello to the still-raining sky and outstretched hand-from-car. Greedy grabby but man alive, it tastes good.

Nana says we’re fifteen days into Saawan. Good thing it rained, halfway through a month of rain is high time. Never get piercings in Barsaat, they’ll fester.

I am wearing Pink Panther socks. Flex, point, flex, point. I point too long and my right foot feels like it’s spasming. My t-shirt- “beta aap LUMS ke ho?” “jee! (that’s what my shirt says, honeychile)’- is still damp and I’m feeling just a little cold. We want to run outside again, we’re clothed perfectly for it, tracks and dark tees and sneakers. I don’t do both sets of double reverse crunches, they annoy me. The hogger-of-space aunty next to me gasps numbers as she crunches and I feel slightly condescending. My tummy is flat, and when I smack it, it twangs. Yours sounds like someone hit a matka.

The dryer goes whirr-kachunk, whirr-kachunk as it rolls clothes around in its stomach. Digesting them into dryness, making the kitchen snug. If you stand real close to the front, your toes almost under the machine, you can feel the warm air on your ankles.

Rain dwindles now, plink-plink in huge, ripe puddles. It looks joyful, small bubbles welling up from each plink. If I were more musical I’d invent a tune for these dainty little drops, hitting shiny puds, one ripple each in their wake. Something of a tiptilted nose and springy step, a pert sweetness, a lilting giggle. Music is such an evocative thing; I wrote a story from a sonata by Majowski once.

I haven’t slept all night for the second time this week; I don’t mind. The only issue I have is being tired on the periphery the next day, and when I don’t speak everyone thinks I’m being moody. Not-speaking is an unusually beautiful thing. You sift the shit from the real stuff, become invisible in a way. Not using your voice makes your eyes bigger to see, your ears wider to listen. Sana and I bought sunglasses yesterday, giggling and peering into the tiny Indian mirror Fudgy gave me. Hers are Ray-Ban and mine are Versace knockoffs, and the boy in the Civic at the red light stared. But it rained today, so we'll wear them tomorrow.


Mina at 12:30 PM

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