The skies groaned. The grounds stared up, hoping for the grains to be bathed. A huge roar preceded. A flash scattered a couple of dogs running mindlessly on the road. A small child, still in her mother’s arms broke into a loud cry. And then, a drop, and another, and another. They seemed to be bundled together falling thick and fast now. And old man, returning home, ran beneath the covers. A young couple ran all the way along to a big banyan tree, couped up in its shade. A bunch of women, quickly spread their umbrella’s over themselves, preserving their makeup. A labourer, went on hitting the boulders with all his might, only for once looking up and soaking it in. A few boys, teens probably, kicked the ball around, enjoying the company of thick mud. And a whole group of observers, gathered beneath the shade of the tea-shop beside the ground. Suddenly, a boy, at most touching 10, ran out into the open. He kept running. A couple of elders, ran behind him, trying to make him see reason. The boy ran, ran with all his might, till he went past all the trees, till he crossed the range of those running behind him, till he reached the middle of the ground. Now even those big boys on the field stared at him. And he broke into a jig. He danced with all his might. He just seemed to enjoy those falling balloons of water. He spread his arms apart, palms outstretched. As the droplets latched onto the small palm, he threw his hand up, and found great joy in finding the drops bounce up and fall back again with renewed vigour, with comrades in tow. Everyone stared at this little boy. The socceroos reacted first. They joined him. Then a few youthful guys joined in. and a few started clapping to the rhythms. The mundane place seemed to wake up with the innocence of the little boy. Just enjoying the tranquil, forgetting for a moment everything else. The child smiled large heartedly. And everyone joined in.
This ‘he’, the small child was me. He is no more. It’s a mature, practical, bogged-down-by-the-burdens-of-expectations, struggling, and yet, trying-to-break-the-mould-and-live-the-dream-and-spread-a-smile person now. I miss the innocence. I do, and I hope to capture it all with a return to innocence.