Hasn’t it been this way every year? But everyone forgets how hard it rained last year. I've been in Chennai for ten years now and each time it's rained heavily in October. And yet I hear the same ole' whine, "It wasn’t this way last year! This year, the rains are sooo heavy!"
And every year, try as I would, I have been unable to keep away from getting soaked to the skin and bones in the deluge day after day after day. And wading knee deep in the dirty, murky water or getting sprayed by the Tsunami from passing vehicles. Believe me.... I think.....I don’t do it deliberately. :)) Smile. I love it!!
And each year, the Government of Tamil Nadu declares a holiday for the schools and colleges after the rains are over. It’s almost as if the rains hear the news and cackle, 'HA HA HA HA HA!!" and move across the border to Andhra Pradesh.
And so today, the brats are at home, having a field day - the yearly holiday for no reason. Reason enough to celebrate. It adds to the fun that Diwali is just round the corner.....
And so, I set off for office early today, for once. No chubby cheeks to feed and pack lunch for. No loooong hair to plait with missing ribbons. Ah, the pleasure of a road to myself.
I peg down a share auto. For the uninitiated, the 'auto' is a three wheeler that is to the Indian roads, what the camel is to the desert. And the 'share auto' is a kind of car pooling where a lot of people share the same auto bound for the same destination.
"Where to Ma'am?"
He hangs the board and we set off. For the first two stops, no one gets in and a worried look comes into his face....
"Are you going to T Nagar?"
The lone hope fades away and we move on. By the time we reach Anna Nagar arch, even I am worried. Is this man going to come all the way to DMS for just 20 Rs?
"Change your board."
"I said; change your board to T Nagar."
"But aren’t you going to DMS?"
"Don’t worry about me. I'll manage."
"Are you sure?"
He changes the board and we scan the road anxiously - speculators in crime.
Before we know what's happening, the auto is full of people. The Diwali crowd must go to T Nagar, rains or no rains!! Shopping, silk saris, dhotis, crackers and sweets!! Time to think of your wife, children, son in laws. Time for newlyweds to make it to the girls place....
The automan takes off happily. I get down at Pondy Bazaar and hand him my 20 Rs.
"Thank you Ma'am!' he smiles.
I smile back.
"Are you sure you'll manage?"
I look at the time. I'm 20 minutes early to office - and I'm exactly a 20-minute walk away from it.
Oh, well, I think, as I set off on my sojourn – Happy Diwali!!