Rains! Rains were common for all. For young and old. Rains meant different for different people. But they descended their silver lines for everyone. As for me, rains poured down on my childhood like on lush rain forests. Noisy and cool. Fresh and scintillating. Green and sparkling. As a child, I had seen more rains than many of my age. Rain never stopped when I grew up. I drew strength and inspiration from them- incessant and pure.
One of those rainy evenings come particularly vivid when I think of my growing up years. I was 8 years old. It was July. Rains sang continuously in unison with the beetles and frogs day and night. Rains welcomed mornings and evenings. That evening, I was sent to the grocery shop to get sugar for some hot 'payasam'.
While walking slowly in the rain with my new two-fold St. George umbrella, I felt fresh and bubbling. May be, I could buy a few chocolates with the balance amount. Splashing water from every puddle on the earthen road, the little boy in me walked merrily to the shop- my heart singing along with rain drops.
Glad to get some chocolates, I walked back holding the sugar packet in one hand and the umbrella in the other. To reach home I had to walk almost half a kilometer through thickly grown cocoa plantation. Even day time would seem like night in there. So dark. And so silent. As I was entering the plantation, rain intensified. And silence vanished. Large rain drops fought with cocoa foliage screaming like thunder. Deafening noise. The sun disappeared behind dark clouds. I couldn't see anything. I was lost. In blinding dark, in deafening noise.
I didn't know from where, but fear started sweeping in. Snakes with round yellow spots on them. And imps with long pointy ears and curly tails! Monstrous creatures! In my mind, I could see all of them behind those cocoa tree foliage waiting to prey upon me. The foul evening's spirits caught me motionless in the middle of dark nowhere. Suddenly it dawned upon me that I was lost, that I might die that night. Smoky and murky figures danced behind cocoa trees, hiding when I looked.
In fear, I clutched the sugar packet close to my chest and ran. Not knowing direction, I ran to escape from the clutches of devils, imps, monsters, smoky, murky figures. My feet told me that I was running on the road. At least that I was running. I ran faster and faster.
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Later in the night my worried and frightened parents found me lying in the plantation- unconscious and weak. There was sugar all over my body. My new St. George umbrella was lost and was never found. May be, monsters of the dark might still be using it while lurking behind cocoa trees in monsoon.
Parents carried me home. It was raining hard. Like never before.