Those rainy days

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I was stuck at home for two days following a snow emergency with twelve inches of snow deposit and still falling. The roads were slippery and driving hazardous as rubber and ice don’t make a good combination. Every effort was being made by the townships to clear the roads but all the human equipment is rendered worthless against the inclemency of nature.
All schools were closed. Some offices were closed for half or full day, some were on come-on-your-own-risk status.I chose to stay in both days though my life might not be that worthwhile on this planet, but nevertheless.
That time I went down the memory lane, centuries ago when I went to school and sometimes the school was closed because of the rain.But closed or not, we had to get ready and get going -equipped with raincoats and umbrellas and plastic covers for book bags. My mom is a housewife but we never had an option to just sit back at home ,if not for illness. And if we did miss school for a day or two, mom would urge and nudge till we didn’t visit a classmate and catch up on the days’ work and notes. Much as we used to grumble at that time,I now realize that it was our parents way of emphasizing the importance of education and also that life is never going to be easy.
Being educated and brought up in a small town was a lot of fun. There were no school buses or auto-rickshaws. Children went to school riding bicycles and cycle-rickshaws with a dozen children loaded in one rickshaw pulled by a matchstick-thin but stong man -utilizing every nook of the vehicle, with lesser ones occupying back and front hard woodboards attached to it while the doyens occupied the real cushiony (hardly!!) seat.
We went to school riding bicycles and it was a big gang of neighborhood children calling on each other in the morning.And more often than not, one or two had a punctured flat tyre and someone had to doubleride-actually carry another person equal or more in weight than yourself while someone else took the burden of the extra schoolbag and the schoolbags were really stone-heavy. But noone shirked from that and exchanging bicycles was a real treat then
We used to go on all days- rain or shine.On pouring days, we were on a lookout for somebody going the reverse way, indicating that probably the school was off. And if children in other schools’ uniforms were seen going back, we burnt with envy and uttered curses against our principal who wouldn’t shut down.To go back home and eat from the packed lunchbox was the thought that evoked genuine pleasure and content.
And on those rainy days ,the raincoats and unmbrellas were a big show-off, who had which color, with flowers or stripes or just plain. So if it was not a holiday and it was raining real hard, the attendance would be thin which meant a day full of fun as the firm teachers would also be lax and unmindful of many things. Also the greatest part- the shoes!! The clothes were protected by raincoat but the shoes were drenched so we were allowed to take off the shoes and socks and roam barefoot in the corridors.To be allowed to do that in that school which was the apogee of discipline- where each item of uniform was duly checked each morning – tie around the neck, school and house badges in place etc., was unexplicable delight. And some of the lucky ones whose dress was soaked – got a change of clothes from the generous big-hearted but stone-faced sisters – that was the ultimate luxury, outside the ambit of imagination- arousing envy in all the others.
So even if school was not off , there were so many incentives of coming to school on rainy days and also of going back home. Small things in life gave big thrills- the roseate delight that cannot be put in words, but just the reminiscences of that leave me nostalgic and yearning.

3 thoughts on “Those rainy days

  1. salma

    very good description.i could see actually,those days ,come alive in front of my the smallest and the frailest out of the team of the cycle riders.what a sight was that to see u double ride!


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