For the sky was quite magnanimous last night, the orgasmic downpour with dazzling streaks of light and rumbling thunder had me awake from a cozy sleep.
The next day I was scurrying through the horrid streets of Patna which were profoundly waterlogged. It was still raining when I made it to the bus stand— a murky afternoon, with the canopy of dark clouds spread above me like an eternal parasol, the bitter rain piercing through it like bayonets hurled by a legion of vengeful warriors.
Walking through the mucky alleys, soaked in filthy rain-water cascading through the rooftops, I realize that it’s okay to smell like a sewer; people will not judge you, of course, for chances are they might have negotiated the same stinky water-logged pathways as you to reach here. It’s no longer a serious problem because one usually get accustomed to the smell and the filth in a while; it’s all about understanding…and acceptance of the human condition.
My shoes are heavy as I plod over the muddy track that leads to the doorway. Should I be worried? Nay…the floor of the bus is already smeared; my contribution wouldn’t make much difference.
For the second time someone leaned towards the window, pushed me back, positioned their lips at the crevice, and hawked a nasty projectile of spittle so competently that it seldom flew back into his face with the surge of air rushing in. It’s a skill. Wouldn’t the glob of contagious phlegm land on someone’s face outside? Well, the bus is too speedy for a scuffle.
The women in bright red sari alighted by my side; pretty, fair and shapely she is. Her smell is a blend of calamine on her face, the jasmine on her tresses, the perfume on her apparel and the profusion of sweat on her porcelain skin. She has a rusty country accent, and a formidable face. Her playful baby is monkeying on her lap, babbling amusing words only the mother could comprehend.
It’s a long journey and I can only hope for the rain to stop before I reach my destination. The monsoon here is a menace, but the people have learned to live with it.