The monsoon is a beautiful time to be in Delhi. It doesn’t rain hard enough to buy boats and row across the roads; neither does it rain too scantily to make you feel that someone just turned the water supply off while showering. The skies are nice and grey, the leaves are greener, there are birds chirping and chattering away all day long, and the dust levels are down. Take your pick of what you love best about them. I, for one, love getting drenched in it, no matter how many sneezes follow a good shower. And that’s what I hate about this job (any job for that matter). Since I am setting an example for the students and neither of us can afford to fall ill, I can’t go out their and jump about. Uh! I sometimes wish I would remain a student all my life.
But rains bring other things with it that can’t be seen otherwise. It brings with it ‘mischief’, ‘friends for life’ in the trees, the chirping crickets, the dirty mud and ‘imaginary experiences’ for the kids. And it brings me ‘time’ to watch these ‘kids-who-are-up-to-no-good’.
One of the most beautiful sights I have seen in a long time was recently when I was on my way back from Madanpur Center* from the CSWC class, was a branch of a huge tree growing sideways and a bunch of kids sitting/standing on it and swinging with all their might. Some terrified of the branch breaking, some screaming as we adults would scream on a Ferris wheel, some screaming from the ground that it was their turn. As I sat in the car, stuck in a traffic jam, the honking suddenly ceased in my head. There is a magical world, not unlike the harry potter books, where all these kids are transformed onto brooms and carpets that fly. They ride on the wings of enormous birds and they become catapult pullers in mighty dragon wars. And its joyous, how these simple games, that we have forgotten in the age of computers and mobile games and X boxes ruling everyone’s lives, can change an entire wet evening to an enchanting fairy tale. One of the things I enjoy doing outside my class.
I was in another class yesterday, and a trainee came up to me to ask for an ‘autograph’. ‘Wow!’ I thought, ’What in the world did I do to have this boy, who I have met for the first time in my life today, to come up to me?’ I managed to force seriousness on my gradually widening ‘ear-to-ear-smiley’ face. I protested, and then gave in, wrote some very serious life’s quotation as a message, and wrote my name down. On the way back, I thought do I really deserve this? I have been here 4 months, I am learning more than I am giving out, and this boy thinks I have taught him something? Not modesty to be honest. Just a little awed by these experiences. How life can make you feel larger than life, as well as grounded at the same moment. What tremendous responsibility comes with this status that trainees give you.
Sounds like a dialogue straight out of the Spiderman movie. But then, fairy tales as well as little moments and experiences have their lessons attached with them.
Till such time that I can still find these moments hidden like precious gems, the ‘high’ of the rains shall not pass.
Happy Monsoons everyone