The unrelenting rain shed water to all our plans today. Me and one of my friends had planned to sneak to the club while others will be busy playing cards and feasting on the eve of the last day of the fiscal year. Today being the last day of the fiscal year, there is party in the office. Every department is soaked in the mood of celebration. Before 1 in the day I met many staffs already tipsy. They had no idea if it’s the earth that was moving or the booze that was taking its toll on them.
Through out the day the game of hide and seek continued between the sun and the earth. Since I didn’t need to switch on the fan in the cubicle I can assume the day was cooler. Had it been any other working days it would have been a relief but since our whole excitement was dependent on the sun i.e. more scorching the heat better it would have been, it was a kind of waste. I could see the water shed into our plans. Painfully I cancelled the plan while my colleague accused me of betrayal. It is not a good weather for swimming I wanted to sound reasonable but he was so headstrong he wanted to have a swim in spite of the rain. I denied and he left office fumed in anger. Unfortunately soon after he left the glaring Sun appeared in the sky and few moments later my hands reached for the fan. May be I should have gone with him? I asked myself. Just fifteen minutes later the sun was back behind the clouds, the fans were switched off, teas were ordered and shirts were buttoned. So, it was a good decision.
The loud music and musical debate (‘dohari’ in Nepali) rocked the fourth floor which hosted the Civil Section of our office. Dances always excite me and in just few minutes I was on the fourth floor. Had they pulled me, I would have danced but even after more than a year in the office I am a stranger to department other than mine. Had it been home, no one would have dared to dance without me if I was around.
Our department was boring as always. So at 3:00 I left the office. Surprisingly after just few minutes of walk in the road I was sweating, I could actually smell the sweat. It was so hot and I had already planned to take a shower as soon as I reached home. The clouds had still the sun in the veil; it was not difficult to guess that it will rain anytime.
Kathmandu is getting hotter every year. It is a global trend, glaciers are melting and the sea levels are rising. The absence of Sun in the sky cannot be taken into account for a cool day; it was just like any other sunny day. A frequent old man who’s cheeks sank inside his mouth to touch each other was begging for some alms. I never miss to give him something if he is around. Possibly he is the only beggar who I give alms not less than five every time I find him. His is an age to sit with his family among his grand and great grand children, but there he is begging in the scorching heat. His eyes do not open properly; he seems to gather very less sight or may be only judges the movement of images in his surrounding. The edges of his eyes have sticky mucus. His body is stooped and falters as he walks. I handed a five rupee note on his hand which he slipped into his trousers’ pocket. People usually do not offer alms to beggars when they see notes or many coins in their hand so it is a clever act to have very few coins in hand to show.
The heat was terrible. I was banking on the idea of getting home as fast as possible and getting shower. I regretted on missing to visit the club and dipping in cool water of the pool. As the bus geared up, it had already started raining, the weather was soothing now. After getting off the bus, the rain had slowed and now there were only sprinkles. I did have an umbrella but I preferred not to open it. The rain gained a life again and the natural shower had washed away the sweat and dust from my body. It no longer smelled of a salty sweat, it was the fragrance of the monsoon; the rain had lent me the smell of the soil from the hills. Rain water trickled down my cheek after soaking my hair. I returned home rejuvenated and I watched the rain till it stopped from my small balcony.