It all began in the depth of night when the city was in deep slumber. The ferocious wind began to howl and scream as it rose between the high-rise like a phantom and hissed passed the trees and ground. The smell of thunder hung heavy in the air and soon the night was nothing but a cacophony of rattling window panes, banging doors and thundering clouds. A nerve-racking sound of smashed glass got the attention of some dazed people as they scurried to gather their belongings which the wind was threatening to take away. The electricity went off plunging the area in further darkness.
I gasped for breath in bitter air dull of sand while I struggled to pull a shutter that clung to the wall and wont budge as if scared to death. I cursed and let it be.
It sure was a relief from the merciless heat that was driving people nuts and an assurance of a cool nice weekend. I lay quietly in my bed trying to decipher the sounds that reverberated outside.
Slowly the intensity of the storm receded and soon heat gave way to dismal rain. The delicate intoxicating fragrance of the mogra and mixed with the humousy smell of damp earth began to filter in from the open window. I poured myself a glass of chilled water and looked out at the waves of darkness.
Slowly the sleep took over and it was calm inside and outside.
I stepped out early morning to inspect the damage of the night storm. Broken branches, fallen trees, everything covered in a fine film of dust. Shattered window panes all told the story of past night. Yet, people seemed happy and relived. Many of them were out in their balconies or gardens sipping the first tea of tea laced with milk, sugar and ginger.
The trees looked shaken but not stirred. They stood dozing in the gentle breeze tired after the night’s battle.
I made a big mug of coffee and looked out in silence as the world around me began to wake up.
The fury of the storm had subsided but nature was not done yet. The sun which had emerged from h
is hideout was soon pushed behind a veil of haze. The storm was rising again from distant grey blue horizon. Soon everything was filled by the dust kicked up by the wind. The rain filled clouds struggled to hold their place. Once again the ghostly orchestra began to fill the morning made more mysterious by the whooshing sound of the wind. This time I wanted to witness the scene. Braving the wind which wanted to sweep me off my feet from the ninth floor balcony I firmly gripped the railing and watched the pigeons sail along propelled entirely by the wind. Aimless and confused they floated along with various other things like newspapers, plastic bags, leaves etc. A colorful leaflet of Pizza Hut came hurling towards the balcony, slapped against the wall and stayed their shivering like a malaria patient. I released it and it went floating to another destination.
The storm has scattered the crows that were roosting in the trees and they all sang in a shrill chorus. I found it much melodious than the sound of cooing love-sick pigeons who made out in the balcony all day long.
At the ground level trees were swaying like they had been hit by a seizer. Dogs ran in search of safe place. The deserted streets began to fill with daily life.
I wondered if the clouds will bring rain or they the gutsy winds will win over them leaving us high and dry. It ended as quickly as it started. The wind-swept rain began to fall in sheets like gauze curtains cleaning the side walks , the vehicles, buildings , roads and trees.
After sweltering days and soaring temperatures it really made the weekend special. I can see colorful bundles of joy playing football or cricket in the small open patches in the colony. Here at home another round of coffee has begun and there is a sense of calm all around
I sit quietly listening to the soul-stirring voice of Nina Simon . My body warmed by her velvety voice and the coffee in my hands.