Saritha looked up towards the clear sky, there was not a speck of cloud just sparkling blue. She mumbled to herself “looks like it might rain”. Then she shouted looking towards the balcony “Ramya, bring down the clothes. Looks like it might rain”
Ramya who was cleaning the balcony peeked up towards the sky to see clear beautiful blue, she frowned and shouted back “Its ok ma, it is still very sunny. Let the clothes dry”
It was a typical saturday afternoon in Ramnath Rao’s house. Saritha was in the kitchen clearing up the dishes, Ramya was cleaning some part of the house, Chintu was already down for the afternoon nap, Ramesh was working on his computer and Ramnath Rao was trying hard to keep his eyes open sitting in his arm chair.
The sky was bright blue of a summer afternoon, not even a breeze was stirring the leaves anywhere. Everything was standstill. Like the whole world was in a slumber, lethargic in the summer heat. Even the clock was ticking slowly, like it was dozing in this heat. Minutes ticked by slowly towards 4 O’ Clock, Saritha came out of kitchen to find Ramnath Rao snoring in his chair, she looked around to see that Ramya was no where to be seen, Ramesh was in the same place from morning, she mumbled to herself again “She must be in her room, should I go get the clothes??”. But she was not upto climbing the stairs so she started towards her room to lie down for sometime.
As the clocked chimed 4, right on cue, like dancers arriving on stage at the bell, dark clouds starting forming in the sky. By the time anybody realised the change in the weather, big big rain drops were splashing down from the heavens. With an earth shattering thunder the heavens split open.
At that minute several things happened at the same time. Chintu woke up with a start, Ramya who was in her room – remembered the clothes on the roof, Saritha stopped on her tracks, Ramesh looked if the electricity is still there, Ramnath Rao’s snoring stopped.
After that minute’s silence everything was in frenzy. Chintu ran outside to watch the rain, Ramya hurried towards terrace to pick up the clothes, Saritha came near the door and started grumbling about Ramya – standing just inside the threshold, Ramnath Rao got up and tried to figure out what was happening and Ramesh was still on his computer.
Chintu shouted with joy seeing the rain and ran upstairs overtaking his mom to play in the rain. Ramya starting calling him “Chintu, No.. dont go in the rain.. Chintu”. But the words fell on deaf ears. By the time ramya reached the terrace chintu was already jumping in the small puddles fully wet. Ramya didnt want to get wet and she could see that there was no use getting the clothes inside now, she tried to shout over the thunder of the rain “Chintu come inside,,.,, you will catch cold… chintu..”
Downstairs Ramnath Rao went upto Ramesh and asked “Ramesh I want to go to the club, Please drop me in the car”. Ramesh answered in annoyance “Pa, One day if you dont go nothing will happen, Look how much its raining.. and I have lot of work to finish”
Ramnath Rao walked out of the room dejected, as he walked towards his chair he heard Ramya calling chintu to come inside. He started climbing the stairs to help his daughter in law.
As soon as chintu saw his grandpa at the door, he came immediately and started pulling his grandpa saying “Come grandpa, lets play in the rain”. Before Ramnath Rao could find to foot hold to stop chintu from pulling he was standing in the rain.
The cool drops of rain were soaking him through and through. But as expected he didnt feel any anger or annoyance, he felt free and fresh. A bubble of laughter erupted from his lips and he started to enjoy the rain.
Ramya was in real fix now, she can order chintu inside but how to order her father in law to come inside. Immediately she called her mother in law “Ma, please come here and look whats happening”.
Saritha who was still angry with Ramya for not listening to her, readied herself to give an earful to Ramya and started towards terrace at her call.
Hearing his wife’s call even Ramesh got curious as to what is happening and he followed in his mother’s footsteps. As they reached the terrace, both were surprised to see Ramnath rao playing with is grandson like a kid.
Involuntarily a smile tugged on Saritha’s face and she shouted “what are you doing? he is a kid not you. Please come inside”
At her words Ramnath Rao came near with a full smile on his face and said “I have a better idea, Why dont you come outside?” and he pulled her on the terrace. Saritha was annoyed beyond recognition, but the smile on her husband’s and grandson’s face made her stop for a minute before bursting. By then rain made her calm down, like it was stripping away all her annoyance and anger.
Seeing that even Saritha was mesmerized by the spell cast by rain Ramesh got a wicked spark in his eye and he went into terrace towing his wife with him. After initial protests, Ramya also started enjoying.
The whole family was getting drenched in rain, playing and laughing together. As if its performance was over, rain stopped as fast as it came. While the last few drops were still finding their mark, everyone came down to dry up.
After drying and changing, the whole family sat in the living room enjoying hot coffee made by Ramya. There was a sense of calm and peace in the house now. As if the rain had stripped them off from their negative emotions like the washed clean trees outside, Everything inside was fresh and fragrant.
Saritha said with admiration to Ramya “Beautiful coffee ramya, nobody can beat the coffee you make”. Hearing a rare praise from her mother-in-law Ramya smiled back shyly with affection.
Ramesh got up and said “Come dad, I will also come to your club today”
Ramnath Rao looked up to his son’s calm face not marred by stress which was a common expression now a days and smiled up to him nodding.
Chintu oblivious to the change in the environment was planning how to steal away from everybody’s eyes and play in the muddy puddle out in the road.
As it satisfied the thirst of the earth on that hot hot summer afternoon, the rain had also washed away the grime on the souls of that family.