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Petrichor – a pleasant smell that frequently accompanies the first rain after a long period of warm, dry weather is not just a smell it’s a feeling of comfort and joy.
The alarm rings, as her mind fights hard to open those tightly shut eyelids. They were in no mood to welcome the Monday morning. Beep beep, the sound of the messenger on her mobile make those stubborn lids slit open a bit. The bright light, emitting from the device makes them squeeze themselves.
She dims down the screen light and turns on the read mode. Her eyeballs still struggle to read the message. ” Meeting with the client at 11.am today. Hope you are well-versed with the presentation.”
Her body lying idle, cosily under the blanket of the queen-sized bed. “Shit ya… How could I forget about this important meeting.”
Her mind drags her body out of the mattress, as her heart pleads for more rest. With great difficulty she opens the door of her bathroom and goes inside to brush her teeth, her mind cajoles her to take a quick shower.
Her hands reluctantly take the pink loofah, pours some liquid soap and starts rubbing it all over her body. Suddenly, the earth emanates the petrichor, engulfing her olfactory with the sweet dewy fragrance. “The rains are here, her mind whispers.” A pluviophile she is.
Her thoughts get submerged dreaming about the wet leaves, green grass, happy trees, the black clouds and the cool raindrops. Her train of thoughts come to a jerky halt as the phone rings.
She turns off the shower and quickly dabs herself dry. Wrapping the white turkey towel around her body she takes careful baby steps to reach for her mobile.
She picks it up, it was her Boss. “No, I am in no mood today to go to the office. I want an extended weekend to welcome the rains.” She talks to herself as the mobile keeps ringing. She decides to ignore it. Dia sits listlessly on the bed and ponders for some time. She puts on her maxi and peeps out of her bedroom window only to be greeted by the earthy smell and black tinted clouds.
“Ah.. petrichor, you always make me dance to your tunes.”
Her fingers tremble as she starts texting her boss. “Down with severe throat infection and high fever. Cannot come to the office. The doctor has advised some rest. will be available on mails. Regards, Dia.”
She reads it again and again. Shuts her eyes down and presses the send button, mumbling prayers. “Phew.. will see… He can’t fire me for skipping one presentation..” she chuckles to herself and goes towards her wardrobe.
“Ahhh… I want to give my formals a ditch today.” She opens her what’s app and messages her friend and colleague Sheetal. ” Down with throat infection, please manage the show. How is the scene in the office?
Sheetal replies, “Boss is sulking as usual. Messaged me about your absence. Don’t worry I will take care. Get well soon..” Dia reads the response and mutters to self. “What is the point of sick leaves, when you don’t get to take any. Anyway, I am all set for the date with self.”
She chooses her red churidar-suit with peacock blue dupatta. She looks at herself admiringly in the mirror as her hands get busy wearing the metal bangles and jhumkas. Dia dusts her face with some face powder. Applies the kajal, eyeliner and lipstick. She gives her reflection a flying kiss and leaves the room.
Her petite figure walks past the hall and towards the shoe rack, she opts for her red belly shoes, grabs her bag and shuts the door behind. She hands over the keys to her landlady and comes out to the building’s parking lot. She puts the ignition on and vroom goes her car out of the building. She keeps the window down to enjoy the cool breeze. The gurgling sound of her stomach makes her stop at Anna’s shop. She buys herself a plate of vada sambhar-chutney with a cutting coffee.
Dia perches herself on her car’s bonnet and starts enjoying her breakfast in leisure. The other office goers give her an envious look thrusting their breakfast down their throats in a jiffy and discussing the long day ahead. Oblivion to their goggles and stares she finishes her breakfast and turns the wheels towards the Mumbai-Pune expressway. Inside the car, she had the company of her radio.
Her head shakes to the song of “Ae kya bolti tu..aati kya Khandala”. She pops her head out of the window and sings “Aati mein Khandala“. The cool breeze, cloudy sky, and slight drizzling. The day was perfect for a long drive. Soon, she finds herself sitting on the rocks of Bhushi Dam. She starts taking random selfies and snaps of the sky, and people around.
Her mind gets tempted to post them on social media. “Shh… remember you are on sick leave she reminds herself with a smirk.”
A bunch of collegians had bunked their lectures to enjoy the weather. A smile crosses her face as she remembers her college days looking at them. On one side of the dam, she sees a couple arguing.
“Some tiff…uff… Good heaven, I am single..” she thinks to herself.
Her eyes glitter with happiness as they spot a sweet corn seller. “Bhaiya, Ek bhootta, namak mirchi aur nimbu laga ke” She takes the bhootta and starts nibbling it like a squirrel.
Her mobile beeps again.”Gosh… Hope it’s not from the Boss.” She opens the messenger, it was Sheetal. “No presentation today, as client postponed it for tomorrow. So happy rest day dear.”
Her eyes fail to believe it in the beginning, but then her face just couldn’t contain the happiness and gives away an impish smile. Suddenly, there is a downpour and it starts raining like cats and dogs. People around run helter-skelter but Dia manages to keep her cool. She finishes her bhootta , all drenched and wet. She decides to do few steps of barso re Megha Megha all for the clever self. And then, finally, she gets inside her car.
Dia puts the heater on and takes her machine back home. Throughout the drive, she keeps thanking God and Pats herself for giving this much needed unplanned break. She accelerates the speed as the radio plays Loose control… Apni toh pathshala Masti ki pathshala.
The rain continues to pour the entire night. Next morning, she wakes up to the news of State declaring holiday for the city due to heavy rains. Dia tucks herself back inside her cosy blanket laughing and giggling and thanking her stars. I love you rains. A proud Pluviophile she screams with joy.
Author’s note: This post is dedicated to all the Pluviophiles and self lovers.
Picture credits – Still from song Barso Re Megha (Guru)
First published here.
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