lalita larking

An obsession with cryptic crosswords. Everything else falls in place.

Location: Kolkata, India

Monday, May 21, 2007

Heavenly interlude

Downpour of appropriate quantities on hill in Aries (9)*

It is just past four in the afternoon, but an eldritch darkness has descended. The light reminds me of eclipses. The storm is building up nicely, I think. As more practical people in the house rush about closing windows, I stand at my bedroom window, holding it open.

The gusts of wind turn into a steady gale and the storm starts in earnest. This one believes in dramatic entrances, there is lightning and a simultaneous thunderclap to announce arrival.

The rain pours down driven in sheets by the gale, darkening the street below further and I see it bouncing off the parapet of the house next-door. I track the gusts of wind tree by tree. The Rain Tree at the edge flings its branches to one side and bows over, the Copper Pod follows suit; the palms in my neighbour's garden join and the Acacia at the edge of my vision. By the time I turn back to the Rain Tree, the branches are waving wildly in another direction.

A particularly strong gust proves too much and my window bangs shut. I capitulate and move to the French doors. Across the street at the lake, the Banyan at the edge is lowering in the rain, some branches dipping into the lake with the gusts. The Gulmohur and the young Rain Tree to my right are twining their branches and parting. The trees shed their coats of dust and the many greens are now discernible.

A mynah among the shrubs in the balcony cocks a beady eye at me. I pretend not to notice. It is not convinced, gives an alarm call and flutters away, but only up to the farthest corner, though. It has no intention of seeking other shelter, and it knows me by sight anyway.

I open the French doors enough to stand between the lashing rain and the close warmth of the room. The contrast between cold gusts of rain and warm swirls of indoor air is strangely pleasurable. I think of Maxwell's Demon. Am I one now, I muse.

There is a large black ant scurrying on the balcony floor. Emmet, six-footer, social worker, I think distractedly. I think I solved a clue, but the storm is too gripping to go fill in the solution. Time passes, and the gale loses strength. The rain tapers off to sullen drizzle. There is lightning and I count the seconds to judge distance. The storm is moving away. It is still overcast so it will rain elsewhere, I conclude, not begrudging other parts of the city this respite and benison.

I look to see if there is a lightening of clouds in the east. I check the time and sigh. Too late and wrong angle to hope for a rainbow. Well, one can't have everything. Maybe the storm will return later.




Anonymous dipali said...

Lovely description, Lali. While you were enjoying the poetry of the scene, I was in the wild corridors of New Market, where eager sellers assail you at every step, rain or no rain!

9:37 am  
Blogger Shirsha said...

Oh it is beautiful!

When I read a post like this, there is a doubt in my mind, when exactly, at which point exactly, did the author decide to write this one? Was it right at the beginning? Or was it somewhr in the middle from where the descriptions become even more descriptive, since the capture mode was 'on'!? Or was it after all that was over, when the author shut the door on the lovely vision, did she sit down to write this piece to feel happy about it once again? I wonder...

1:56 pm  
Blogger Lalita said...

Dipali- Ouch. New Market in a downpour. But it is way better than being stuck in Lake Market in rain, I must say. And it looks like there will be a repeat performance today, yay!

Shirsha- A good and perceptive question. I always stand and stare at thunderstorms, but never thought of writing about them. I think the random thought about Maxwell's Demon pushed this storm into a post. The description became perfunctory once the thought struck, too. :-)

2:06 pm  
Anonymous Ash said...

Lovely post Lali, so the nerve is unpinched and arthritis in retreat? Do you know the song kurisindi vaana naa gunDe lOna?

10:54 pm  
Blogger Alien said...

To be back here after such a long time and be treated to a post like that... I am sure I did a few good things some time to deserve that...

I loved it... reminds me of my time at sea... watching the rain come in...


1:04 am  
Blogger Lalita said...

Ash- Yeah, the nerve is unpinched, as you put it. Yes, I know the song, don't remember the whole of it, though.

Alien- Hi ET, welcome back. Storms at sea must be awesome, perhaps a little scary, too?

4:53 pm  
Anonymous Non Sequitur Man said...

One hopes the lady was equipped with a flashlight that Maxwell's original Demon had neglected to carry.

7:51 pm  
Blogger Lalita said...

NSM- If you have quite finished showing off. The flashlight Maxwell neglected to equip his demon with, but yeah, the lady is a Girl Scout; always prepared.

8:49 pm  
Anonymous dipali said...

Came back to the demon- very impressed, Ma'am!

11:44 pm  
Blogger Alien said...

Storms at sea are humbling....

Frail lives in a tin can
The might of nature
Barely withstand
And realisation
Dawns on sensitive few
Through the fog of fear
Our insignificance shines through...

Scary yes, but I have always felt that they make you feel so small in and insignificant in the complete scheme of things..

1:05 am  
Blogger Lalita said...

Dipali- A little knowledge, hastily gained, is all. :-)

Alien- That's lovely, ET. Even a large meadow and a clear night of stars can make us aware of the scale of things. I remember Belpahar nights for the stars.

8:25 am  
Blogger Alien said...

I cross posted that poem on me blog too.. which leads me to complain that I do not see visits from you... :-)

11:00 am  
Blogger Lalita said...

Alien- Hmm, so you are posting again? I got tired of hitting refresh, you know?

12:53 pm  

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