Friday, November 12, 2004

Raindrops on the Window

It's Friday. A dead day. I leave work early, have some shopping to do. The bus drives up and I get on. Usually I take up a seat next to a window. Today I decide to sit on one of the aisle seats. I recline the seat and look out.

Autumn is well on it's way. Winter's practically set in. It's raining. The sky is heavy with clouds. Just variations of grey. The trees are bare, their branches like claws against the sky. The grass also seemed to have turned colour. Nature has worn her clothes in all shades of brown. My eyes seemed to have got set on 'sepia' mode!

As the bus takes off on the freeway, the scenery moves faster and faster till it becomes a blur. My eyes refocus on something that's happening much nearer. On all the raindrops on the window. All over. Raindrops of different sizes scurrying back. And no two of them follow the same path. As I look I realise that there are many different types of raindrops.

Some, very few, just streak across the window. You can hardly discern the drop. More like a quick stream. As it leaves a wet mark across the window, others just follow the easy path till the end. Over time, the path becomes more streaked and slowly and slowly it gets difficult to even see the path.

Other raindrops go fast as well. As they catch another raindrop waiting, they speed up some more. One thing I noticed that the faster a raindrop travels across the window, the more of itself it leaves behind! Others sometimes catch on to these remnants.

Some raindrops seem big enough to be able to move but seem too lazy. They just wait for one with more energy to come along and drive them. Others are even worse! Despite another drop going through them, they still decide to stay where they are.

I watch this fascinating play of water, sometimes cheering some drops on, sometimes admonishing some for hanging around. Sometimes I focus on only one drop and coax it, but as if to just show it's stubborness, it refuses to move! A couple of times the bus stops at toll booths and this whole drama comes to a standstill. Frozen. Waiting for a cue to begin again. The bus starts and they are back at it again, chasing each other.

I'm nearing New York. The bus emerges from one the numerous tunnels that connect New York, and suddenly there's light and movement everywhere. Outside, there are people walking, rushing, standing in groups together at a stoop and chatting. People stopped at a pedestrian crossing waiting for the light to turn green. Umbrellas everywhere. Everyone raising them up or down as they manoeuvre through the crowd. An unspoken communication. From a distance the sheet of umbrellas look like a wave, bobbing up and down.

I squint my eyes, and the window and the outside worlds merge. I practically see a person in each raindrop. I wonder if there's another window somewhere, and if we'll ever see the view outside that window.

The bus stops. It's Penn Station. The doors open. I step out into the mad throng. I wait for a second and look around at the rain, at the people. Determined faces. Everyone heading somewhere.

I sigh and join the crowd heading for the subway.


Blogger Chirayu said...

Beautiful, Abhijit.

If you have a moment to spare, every wndow has a story to tell and your window told an amazing story.


9:54 AM  

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