Samar found himself stuck in the massive traffic jam while looking up for a shortcut. But all that he could find were crawling cars, people on two-wheelers and bikes snaking their way to the front, vendors selling oddball but attractive merchandise and a few beggars walking across the busy roads adding to the hustle and bustle of the big city as loud honking made it perfectly chaotic. He felt like the emotional chaos within him was reflected outside too. He was being restless but he knew his impatience won’t help him anyway. Finally, after a torturous hour he arrived where Harsh has summoned him, ‘the over bridge square’. Without further delay, he got out of his car and made his way to the tea stall where he saw Harsh waiting for him as he constantly glanced at his wristwatch. His spotted Harsh’s car with a flat and punctured tyre car that had been pulled and parked on to a side.
Samar bobbed his head and greeted him with half a hug and half a handshake, apologizing for being late. “Chill Yaar, its fine. Allow yourself to breathe, you are human after all, not a machine. Cut yourself some slack”, chided in Harsh with a casual grin on his face. But before he could finish, Samar dialled Tushar’s auto garage number and asked the boy to have the car repaired for him.
Harsh smirked to himself and stuffed his hands in his pockets with his coat hanging on his arm. He knew Samar was overcritical and hard on himself. It was like he was chasing something or running away from something but Harsh could never figure out exactly what.
BOOOOMMMM!!! Rumbled the thunder followed by a branched flash of lightning. And just then, a cluster of dark and clouds spread over the sky, casting a grey shadow over the city. And then fat drops of Rain pelted them drenching and soaking them to their bones. However, they hurriedly turned around and splashed through puddles of water as they hastened to get into the car after handing over Harsha’s car key to Tushar who just arrived.
“WOW!! What a feeling!” Said, Harsh, as shook his head to get the water out of his hair. Samar looked at Harsh, he enjoyed the small things in life like a good cup of coffee or the smell of the first rain and sometimes Samar felt jealous of his capacity to stay happy for no apparent reason. To Harsh it was joy, the silvery pearls pouring from the heavens above that brought with them soothing scent of Petrichor. To Samar, it was just one more nuance in many and he felt the movies have highly glamourized rains.
“What a vision, the smell of the rain, the sound of the water, different on road, different on trees. How captivating and delightful it is to be kissed by these bewitching drops of the very elixir of life. How amusing! Isn’t it, Samar? What do you say?”, asked Harsh with a profound enthusiasm.
To Samar, they seemed like skies were crying with him, that these were the unshed tears that have been welling up inside him for a decade now. Never once he cried, and that pain has turned to a sleeping volcano that was hidden under a snowy white peak of cold and indifference. He was lost in thoughts and was busy reminiscing about his childhood days when he and Sagar used to dance around out of glee and excitement in rain, making paper boats as they turned deaf ear to their parents calling them over and over to join them in high tea with hot Pakodas and extra sweet Jalebis. His eyes blank, staring into nothingness with the sound of music in his ears as he went down the memory lane of happy days, the times of innocence, ignorance and carelessness.
“Samar? Samar??…Samar????, yelled Harsh shaking Samar by his shoulder.
“Ye..Ye…Ye…Yessss! Yessss! Harsh, what happened? Have you just said anything to me?”, replied Samar who just jolted out of his reverie.
“Are you fine, Samar? I mean, is everything alright with you? You seemed to be lost somewhere.. You are feeling unwell mate?”, enquired Harsh with a concerned and sceptical look on his face.
“No, nothing like that. I was just……Just thinking about the meeting today. Nothing to worry”, replied Samar not meeting Harsh’s eyes.
“Hmm okay.” Harsh said and then added “Samar……I know that you will never hide anything from me so I am not at all worried but still assuring you that I will always be there with you irrespective of the situation”, said Harsh as he gave Samar a meaningful look.
“Yeahh, I know you here for me, in this car. And to be honest I am really doubting if you are liking the rain enough to spend the whole night in the car itself?” Samar rebuked him with a fake smile as he looked into Harsh’s eyes with a naughty look.
“Oh!!! Look, people, Samar just made a joke.” Harsh said taking a dig at Samar and they both had a laugh over it.
And with that little bit of laughter, they pulled into the parking of their society’s parking and went up to the flat which they shared. Bidding a goodnight to each other they went in their respective rooms. Harsh was asleep before his head hit the pillow but sleep was proving to be elusive to Samar.