Parched With Thirst

The world around us is burning in the relentless summer heat.  Footpaths wear a deserted look  at noon and people are drinking lots of water to cool their systems. There have been several deaths in the city owing to the heatwave and the met-office fails to offer any hopes of a respite.

She steps outdoors to get some work done. A few droplets of light rain caress her skin and she looks up wistfully at the heavens above. An autorickshaw passes by and the soulful voice of a Rabindrasangeet singer wafts in the air:

'A slight caress is felt and a few words are heard,
And with that I compose my own world of ecstasy"

She perceives a soothing sensation. A dried up pothole on a road reminds her of the anguish of a mother who has lost her child and she feels rejuvenated when she sees raindrops slowly filling up the hole.

Her heart leaps up when  she beholds the Krishnachura trees silhouetted against the backdrop of dark rain clouds. The lines of a Rabindrasangeet song reverberates in her mind:

"That  is why the Divine Joy is with me,
You yourself have come down to the earth,"

Her irritation vanishes as she enters a bank for some work and it is loadshedding. She lives in the hope of  watching the laburnums in full - bloom from her bedroom window and the overcast skies.

A chance to dream  again  in the midst of all the household chores that she has to perform.  She longs to hear  the soft  pitter patter of the raindrops on the leaves of the trees around her after a  hot, dusty spell. The sight of birds with beaks parted in thirst hurt her. She thanked God that the birds would not  have to go thirsty after a seemingly endlessly period of scorching heat.

After reaching home, she gave herself a gentle pat on the back. Because in the midst of all the drudgery of life, she had not lost her soul.


More by :  Prof. Arundhati Sarkar

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