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Petrichor And Loneliness

Petrichor And Loneliness

5 mins 17.9K 5 mins 17.9K

It is raining today here. I saw the raindrops fall. I saw the dirt scatter as the first drops hit the soil. I felt the cool breeze on my face and with it I could smell the earthly scent of the first rain after a dry season. Petrichor it is called, derived from Greek words “petra” meaning stone and “ichor” meaning the blood of the Gods. No doubt it is heavenly. It is a smell that brings Nostalgia with it. It reminds me of many things.

It reminds me of that girl I loved. It reminds me of my lost friends. It reminds me of the past forgotten.

One time when I went out with my friends I saw an empty bench at a park. It seemed like a person, lonely and waiting for someone to be with. It was raining that day too. The rain was soaking it wet and it seemed to drink it as if it were thirsty for love for a long time.

When I was a child and I used to visit my grandma’s house during the summer holidays. My grandma’s house is in a small village. That time it was full of trees and ponds and the people used to sit down in groups in open fields to chat and play cards and smoke after the dark. When I used to visit, I often experienced the season’s first rain there. After a long dry spell, the Nor’wester or the Kalbaishakhi would come. The sky would first be covered by dark clouds. It would be followed by strong winds that brought dust and dirt flying into houses and after the storm it would rain a little and cool down the weather a bit for a few days. There was a gulmohur tree at one end of the field behind grandma’s house and when the black clouds would cover the sky and create a soft light, it would often fall on that tree. It seemed lonely. However, as the wind would start getting rough the tree seemed to start enjoying itself and its branches would sway to and fro as if it were dancing and the leaves would rustle and create a great murmur as if it were singing. Some boys and girls would go out in the mango grove to pick up the fallen unripe small green mangoes that tasted sweet and sour. I would find old persons watching them often encouraging them. It was memories of their young past that they re-lived during these moments.

The gulmohur tree however has been cut down a long time back and there is now a small cattle shed.

When my grandfather died and my grandmother came to live in our flat it was hard for her to be confined to two rooms and a small balcony. She has lived in open countryside most of her life and we could never understand her longing as she used to always go for the terrace and the balcony but would still crave to go home. While she was there with us, one day when it was raining heavy she went and sat in the balcony. I watched her from room. She stared blankly in the haze as the heavy rainfall created a temporary mist outside. I knew that she thought of grandpa, her partner for more than 30 years, and she would never meet him again here in this world. She sat there alone for a long time until mom called her inside.

I had a friend who died by drowning. He was then in his teens and after a hot day as he went to swim, something went wrong and he drowned. Another boy who was there did not jump in to save him. Most probably the other boy did not know how to swim at all. I often imagined, “how he would have felt during his last moments?” The water slowly rushing in and he struggling to survive to take that last gasp of breath trying to grab onto something but in vain, and then water filling his lungs and everything going black and that obvious fright of dying and the thoughts about his parents. The immense pain in his chest as the water clogs his windpipe. I did imagine it and shuddered at the pain he had faced alone as his body sunk beneath the water. Sometimes I can still imagine it when I am in shower and that time I am afraid to close my eyes.

Then there was my past when I had my heart broken first time. It was painful and I suffered. I recovered after a long time. It was first time after all. I still remember as I used to walk back to my hostel from my class, I used to find some relief from the pain when the light drizzles would soak me and the slow breeze would cool me. There were moments when I did shed a few tears and it was hidden by the raindrops. It was same feeling as the poets would say. That time I used to be lonely and the rain would bring some unexplainable relief to my troubled heart.

It is still raining as I type, the sky is ash grey and the mystical light is now dancing above the trees, far opposite to my window. One of them is a gulmohur, but this is not a lonely one.

The last time I went back to that place, where the lonely bench was, I found a young couple sharing it. It was a new day, a sunny one with clear blue sky and a sweet breeze.

After all life has many colors and all the colors make life worth living.

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