Ruma Paul shares an experience of a rainy night of Mumbai in the year of 2004 while she was posted as a Drawing Disbursing Officer at “Cotton Green” (Harbour Line Station).
Before heading towards the “Reay Road” station, the local train as usual entered the tunnel. The moment it did so, it became completely dark inside the coach.
Passengers feared and became extra conscious as a reflex during those few moments. No one could see anyone’s face. It was next to impossible to trace if any valuable things went missing especially by a professional pickpocket. I too became alert. I was an absolute newcomer in Mumbai then. I used to stay at New Bengal Lodge.
This is the last week of June. It has been pouring from last week. This city was notorious for its incessant rains during the start of Monsoon around this time.
But my poetic mind was playing with the Music of rains. Sometimes I felt it was “Jhamjhamiye” – sound of pattering or “Durantagatite” – very fast. Sometimes it creates sensation of separation from beloved or again under some circumstances it creates utmost irritation.
Or maybe there is no difference in the rain’s Music but could be my mood, which felt the definition changed.
If it starts at midnight and continues upto dawn it seems to me it rains making sound like Jingling anklet of Radha or Flute of Lord Krishna. In fact at that time I have no tension of Office. The whole night is of mine.
I use to go to bed at 2 A.M. Usually it’s my habit before going to bed to go to Varandah which is illuminated with blue night lamp after 12o’clock at night. I use to sit on the chair and watch the moving Double Decker bus with one or two passengers plying on D.N.Road. But last night when I go to Varandah, the broad D.N.Road looks darkest. All the street light seems to be covered by something else. It is nothing but dense clouds, accompanied by strong winds and lightning. In that lightning I notice that one after one dense clouds floats down just like a landslide, triggered by heavy rainfall in the hill area. I begin to enjoy. I knew my “Love” is not in Mumbai at present. But I wait for him. I don’t know, why? I murmur
Megher pare megh Jamechhe, Andhar kore Aase
Amay keno bosiye rakho Eka Dwarer Pashe.
Kajer Dine nana Kaje Thaki nana Loker Majhe,
Aaj Ami Ye bose aachhi Tomari Awase.
The beauty of the cloud make me so mesmerized, I keep on reciting
Clouds heap up on clouds and it darkens.
Ah, love, why dast thou let me wait outside at the door
In the busy moments of the noontide work
I am with the crowd, but on this dark lonely day
it is only for thee that I hope.
The rain starts. Within ten minutes heavy rains begin to lash. It starts to drench me. There is a heavy sound of thunderstorm with showers which caused water-logging within one hour.
The water from the roof of opposite building falls in such a way, it seems water is being released from reservoir or Dam. Two birds are sitting on one branch of a Banayan Tree, adjacent to the Verandah, witnessed the stormy rainy night. Most probably feeling cold they sit very much close to each other. Instantly it strikes to my mind where is my ‘love’? In this darkest stormy night without sleeping, I feel for him.
Aaji Jharer Rate Tomar Abhisar
Paransakha Bandhu he Amar.
Aakash kande Hatashsomo, Nai ye ghum Nayane Momo-
Duyar Khuli Hey Priyatama, chai Ye Bare bar.
Art thou abroad on this stormy night on thy
journey of love, my friend? The sky groans like one
I have no sleep to-night. Ever and again I open
my door and look out on the darkness, my friend!
But alas! I can see nothing. It is darkest night. I am unable to see my “beloved” also.
Bahire kichhu Dekhite Nahi pai,
Tomer path kothay Bhabi Tai,
Sudur kon Nadeer pare Gahan kon Baner Dhare
Gaveer kon Andhakare Hotechho Tumi Par
I can see nothing before me. I wonder where
lies thy path!
By what dim shore of the ink-blank river, by
what far edge of the frowning forest, through what
mazy depth of gloom art thou threading they
course to come to me, my friend?
It breaks my heart. I have come back to my room and gone for deep sleep. By the sound of thunder-storm and incessant rain I wake up. It is morning but covered with cloud. Boarders use to discuss each other that such is the intensity of the downpour that it would create flood-like situation.
I don’t feel to chat with them.Instead I keep on feeling for my “Beloved” Tumi Yadi Na Dekha Dao, Karo Amay hela,
Kemon kore kaate Amar Emon Badal- Bela,
Durer pane mele Aankhi kebol Ami cheye thaki,
Paran Amar kende Beray Duronto Batase. If thou showest me not thy face, If thou leavest me wholly aside, I know not how I am to pass
these long, rains hours.
I keep gazing on the far away gloom of the sky,
and my heart wanders wailing with the restless
It is drizzling. Within half an hour I got ready and proceeds towards CST station which is ten minutes walking distance. The space in front of our Hotel is water logged. Vehicles make their way through a flooded street. A flash flood caught commuters unaware with several vehicles being trapped in the about waist deep water. Police personnel rushed to the spot, diverted the vehicles and rescued the trapped vehicles. It is not known how many hours are needed to restore the vehicular movement. All the Shopkeepers down their shutters in front of our hotel. Most of the people are not in a mood to go to office. But I have to, as I am a Drawing Disbursing Officer. Today is the last working day of the month that means”SALARY DAY”. While I proceed I am afraid had I been fallen if any drain is left open. Rains throw life out of gear. The passer-by is telling that more downpour is predicted. Vehicles are heading along road inundated by flood like situation. I got information that flood situation grim in other provinces also. I am mentally worried for my dearest one who are in Kolkata.Suddenly I see that a car skids off while trying to negotiate the road affected by incessant rain. A fallen street side tree blocks the road for vehicles and pedestrians.
Somehow I reached to the station. Many trains got cancelled. There is heavy rush. As the road is water logged so all the hawkers have entered in the station. I am forced to jostle space with busy passengers and hawkers who have overrun the station. In Mumbai Office-goer starts for office taking only morning tea and use to take their food in office. Today routine is broken. All are compelled to be confined in the station. Hawkers are utilising this opportunity. With some eatable items they attract large crowds since there is something available for every pocket.
The variety of food enthralled the passengers. Passengers making a beeline for their exclusive dishes irrespective of veg or non-veg. So every dish is a big hit. But I have no at all time to make bigger the beeline. However, somehow I board into the train and sit on a wet seat beside window. I keep on gazing through window. I accuse the Almighty “You, It is only for You, I got this job which causes me this type of plight.
Suddenly I had a touch of a kid. I turned my face and get extremely annoyed. One youth aged about 35 years wearing a dirty white Shirt makes A three years baby to be seated beside me. I get touch of that baby only. The baby looks here and there. It’s not known whether he is his father or relative. No one is bothered about that person but I am bothered. Suddenly “chharang- Chharang” a musical tune. First I don’t turn my face. Gradually the sound is on high pitch. It creates irritation to me. I look at him at an angry face. But that person keeps on playing on his musical instrument, begin to sing a song…………
I surprised, spellbound
Har mana har parabo tomer Gale-
Dure Rabo kato Apono baler chhale
Jani Ami jani bhese yabe Abhiman
Nibir Byathay fatia paribe pran,
Sunya Hiyar banshite Bajibe Gaan,
Pashan Takhan Gahibe Nayan Jale.
I will deck thee with trophies, garlands of my
It is never in my power to escape unconquered.
I surely know my pride will go to the wall,
my life will burst its bonds in exceeding pain,
and my empty heart will sob out in music like a
hollow reed,and the stone will melt in tears.
I don’t know whether he is playing knowingly or unknowingly.But it seems to me as he is a beggar,he hasn’t got chance to be educated. He hasn’t got any job. He is a defeated person in this birth,till inspite of his defeatness, he will” deck the God with trophies, garlands of his defeat. How significant the song is!
Satadaldal khule yabe Thare Thare,
Lukano Rabe na Madhu chirodin-tare.
Aaakash juria chahibe kahar Aankhi,
Gharer Bahire Nirabe Laibe Daaki,
Kichhui Sedin Kichhui Rabe na Baaki-
Param Maran Labhibo Charantale.
I surely know the hundred petals of a lotus
will not remain closed for ever
and the secret recess of its honey will be bared.
From the blue sky an eye shall gaze upon me
and summon me in silence. Nothing will be left for
Nothing whatever, and utter death shall I receive
at thy feet.
I am speechless. A beggar being a prey of socio-economic system, bearing sufferings, only by begging earn bread and butter. Still he is happy in anticipation of that hope in one day he would get shelter under the feet of Almighty. And me, having chance of all the facilities of societies do a nice job. I think “I am cursed.” So foolish I am”! Actually “I am blessed “. Like me all of us who got an honourable service, has to attend office inspite of the incessant rain are blessed.Train is approaching to Ray Road Station. Though it is the darkest tunnel, still I open my hand bag,take out Rs.Ten or Twenty (due to darkness it is not visible) hand over to that person,come in front of the gate to get down when it would be halted.