The month of June was coming to an end and the hot winds gradually started to turn into the cold breeze. But still, there were no signs of rain in Gaurav’s village, Kalapi. He was expecting it to come soon and so were the others in the village. People started preparing their fields so that they can get a proper head start for their next crops when it rains. Crops weren’t the reason Gaurav was waiting for the monsoon, he was still a kid. In fact, he didn’t like the rains. For him, all it does is create mud and bad smell everywhere mostly. The only thing he was waiting for is the first rain and the heavenly fragrance from the soil following that follows it.
The fields became hard as rocks suffering from the sun of the summer. Cracks had been developed which were so wide that an infant can go inside of them. People of Kalapi were resting for the whole summer, sleeping, and eating during the day, saving themselves from the monstrous Sun and evenings by discussing almost every topic on earth. They were all charged for the coming season and were excited at the same time.
It doesn’t matter how cruel the sun becomes, it cannot stop the children from playing. It has now become a well-known fact that Cricket runs through the veins of Indians. Summertime was most appropriate to play cricket for both kids and adults. The fields were almost empty and people could easily make open grounds and pitch for playing without the fear of losing the ball.
Gaurav was always excited to play cricket. He used to wake before all of his friends and go on the mission to wake everyone else so that they can play more matches before the sun comes above their heads. This habit of initializing things also made him the team captain. But it wasn’t something he cared about much. He was more into friendship and stuff like that instead of leadership. Even though it was too early for him to understand what real friendship is and who are his real friends and who are not, he always enjoyed their company. They were in the age where this thing called innocence did exist.
During one evening, all of them were playing cricket as usual but it was a little bit special. They had this new cricket kit with leather balls and bats. Earlier, they used to play with a tennis ball only. They arranged pads and stumps from a closed cricket club that existed years before and bought everything else by contributing money. So, it was a kinda big day for the team. They were so excited that they played the whole afternoon and evening until the dawn. They were all exhausted and their stock of water was finished for a long time. Fortunately, there was a river nearby and they decided to go there first instead of going home. It was about to get dark and they had no lights. Gaurav was worried and tried to convince others to directly head home. But, Nitin and Hemant, two of the other team members insisted and he had to agree eventually.
They reached the river in about three minutes. The river water wasn’t drinkable and they knew it. But they already knew a way to get fresh water. There was a water source near the bank on the opposite side of the river, all they needed to do was to make a proper passage for it in order to get it to their water bottles.
They had to put a little effort to cross the river which they did and found a couple of water source and started filling their bottles. Once filled, they started drinking and finished all of it. A second round of filling the water started. One of the water passage got broken and Tushar started to repair it with his hands. Water was flowing it like some kind of motor working at low voltage. As he was working on the passage, the vibrations generated by the touch woke something. All of a sudden, a mouth like structure came out of the hole with lightning speed. It was a snake, a rat snake. But, the appearance of the snake shocked Tushar and he started retreating and shouting at the same time. He couldn’t see what was behind him and slipped and fell straight into the water.
Everyone else came to the rescue, some tried to make the snake go away by throwing stones and sticks at it while others trying to get Tushar from the rapidly flowing water. Due to the impulse on his left hand due to falling on a rock in the water, Tushar was crying from pain. Everyone started panicking while Gaurav was just hoping it not be a hand fracture. There could not be anything worse that could happen to them.
It was almost dark when they started rushing towards their home, Tushar’s home to be more precise. Tushar arrived at his home along with his friends only to realize that his father was already angry because of his timings. Suddenly all his anger turned into fear when he saw his son all wet and with one hand supported by the other. Gaurav explained everything to him, to which he couldn’t give much attention. All he could think about was his son. He picked up the keys and rushed towards the garage, ordering Gaurav to take Tushar outside and everyone else to head their respective homes. He took the SUV in front of the house, both the boys sat in the back and the SUV just got lost in the dust.
They arrived at the hospital in about 10 minutes. The doctor examined his hand for some time and declared it to be a fracture. Tushar’s father was calm, he always tries to be. He thinks that if you are calm, your efficiency will be great. It took them another 1.5 hours to get done with the procedure. Nobody talked much after that.
This was the most unfortunate things that happened to Gaurav in a long time. He knew that no one will be allowed to play cricket again, at least for a month or two. He couldn’t sleep properly that night. Next morning, he went to see Tushar again. He was in a better condition than he had been a day before. His mother wasn’t though, she lectured them for like half an hour. Gaurav came back to his home, hoping to pass time.
His day went feeling sleepy, tensed and sad all at once. He just couldn’t take it anymore so he went straight to the washroom, washed his face with some cold water, wiped it and headed towards the terrace. He just sat there for some time waiting for the sunset. Sunsets were always refreshing for him, not this time though. It was just a day ago, he was playing happily. He thought about all the what-ifs, good and bad. Again, his thoughts started controlling him, overloading his mind and a drop of tear was just about to escape his eyes when a sweet scent scattered everywhere in the atmosphere. That drop of tear rolled down his cheeks and went straight down to the opposite side of his palm at the same time when a heavy drop from the sky touched his hand. He could feel it, the fragrance of the first rain. He stood up and started breathing heavily in order to take it as much as he could. Soon the heavy drops turned into a light shower and at that moment he realized that everything’s gonna be okay, eventually.
From that day, his love for rains grew stronger every year.