It was my summer vacation and every summer vacation it was a routine to visit Kolkata. I was grumbling because this trip was the last thing that I wanted. I had to do this trip since it was an obligation.
I was watching TV in my uncle’s house. My parents had gone out with my aunt and uncle to resolve some land issue. My cousin came and told me that it would be ‘fun’ to look around the town. I sighed and got ready.
Here I will like to remark that I am a girl who had developed apathy after living for twelve years in Mumbai. In the process of acting cool and different from everyone else, I had turned incorrigible.
I thought we will go somewhere in rickshaw. Rickshaw here means cycle-rickshaws which are perfectly suited for the Kacha roads in West Bengal. I got out and saw my cousin standing with his bicycle. He asked me to sit on the front rod of the bicycle. With disgust, I took a towel placed it on the rod to create a cushion. He sat on the seat and paddled through the road. As I saw the soft velvet sky, my cousin started conversing with me.
Suddenly everything felt different. My memory which had been repressed for so long started taking over me. I did not care anymore. We were just two kids enjoying the local streets. And then all of a sudden the ‘kalbaisakhi’ storm started. The clouds turned dark yet beautiful. Every time the lightning struck the sky, I could see the lining of trees. As my cousin wheeled his cycle through the muddy path, the cold winds slapped my face. It started raining and I was soaked. Every drop of rain was like the first drop of water that had ever run on my skin. I saw people standing near tea stalls and having ‘cutting chai’, while the rain drops were still falling in their tea.
As we paddled along, we surpassed everything -wind, time people. We talked and laughed and forgot everything around us. We were on a time machine going back even though we were moving forward.
As we reached home I saw a face in the mirror. She knew it was midnight but the face had a promise of a new day.