The Summer Cyclone
The Summer Cyclone4 mins 466 4 mins 466
(From the diary of a slow learner)
Thrice. Three times we had long power cuts last night. A terrible, hot, humid night. No wonder I couldn’t sleep peacefully even for a moment. But I did doze off some time at dawn and slept like the dead, late into the morning. It was a deceitful morning, and it has happened before; the dull, sunless, quiet mornings that make you think you are up before sunrise. I am hardly an early bird, but I don’t need to wake up at 4 am to witness a sunrise. Because I am up all night until the baby sun peeps curiously through the window at my tear-stained pillow, and I unwittingly fall asleep.
This deceitful morning, the humid, restless night was not new to me. They had a grey effect, as I’d like to call it because they are an amalgamation of hopeful joy and wrathful angst. This summer was one of the worst ones I’d ever had, thanks to the global warming that finds a place in people’s minds only during rallies. The town we moved into is an old one, and it comes with a free jumbo offer of garbage, frequent power cuts and humidity. So, as one can vividly imagine, the summer was spent in jobless hand-fanning and cursing the electricity department all day. But this year, there was a hidden surprise. Early on in May, we got a weather report. A very severe cyclonic storm called Fani was about to hit our state. Fani, fony, funny, nobody knew how to pronounce the taboo name.
One word for it: terrifying. No clean water supply, no electricity, no contact with the outer world, no mobile phones. All these led to a number of side effects. The worst being unhinged humor, even after everything was fixed. Fixed, but never back to normal. The humid, restless night, I survived that, but soon unlearned the trick to bear it. The deceitful mornings were a sign that I could sleep an hour more in peace, thereby sparing my mother the pains to prepare breakfast. Thus, a cyclone taught me dozens of survival hacks and life lessons. Some were hard to digest. A broken relationship, I look back to, whenever someone asks me what all havoc Fani wreaked on my side of the town. I fixed it, so I thought, but it's like global warming. I can’t fix it all alone, even if I spend all my time and energy undoing the work of unhinged humor. His, and mine. Old, strong friendships are like good fat trees. They do a lot of good, but a cyclonic storm is well equipped with the power to snap them like a twig, leaving a spiky stump, a tombstone of an ugly fight. I spotted the cyclonic storm in our friendship long before he and I were sure we were friends. I sent reports, ours was a red alert zone; but he only assured me of rescue and relief, but never put it into action.
Now it’s been a month and a half. The cyclones, the permanent damage, the repair work, the replacements. The fixing of the broken, the failure in setting it back to normal. Everything is done and dusted. But life doesn’t want me to forget what I experienced in the process of moving on from the trauma. Because I soon unlearn the tricks. Life keeps bringing back the humid, restless nights. The tear-stained pillows. The deceitful mornings. The funny taboo name of the cyclone. The clouds of trauma, that bring no rain yet, just showcase a work of lightning and thunder, as if warning me not to unlearn the tricks, the survival hacks and the life lessons.
But this deceitful morning is different. I pause typing and look out of the window. I can see fat raindrops on the red walls of our unruly neighbors. It brings a hopeful joy; maybe the clouds of trauma are satisfied with my test results. The tombstone I kept crying on is left with a wilting wreath and a last, fleeting visit. It's not humid anymore. I can feel a pleasant, cool breeze pouring in through the window. The rains are here, fingers crossed. The worst summer ever is finally bidding goodbye. A much-awaited monsoon is here. New beginnings, new memories, clouds that don’t trick or test you, but treat you with hopeful joys are here. The wrathful angst will be a shadowy memory, a dark learning phase. This is my reward, this is my result.