We (Note the “we”. We like Jahanpanah Akbar in Rushdie’s “Enchantress of Florence” shall speak in the first person plural from here on. We meaning I and some alter ego, I fancy as a more talented clone of mine.) don’t know what happens to cab drivers when it rains. We were going home the day before yesterday, and was dripping wet in the rain that fell without mercy or respite. We asked about 25 cab drivers if they would take us to VT station. Don’t know what happens to them when it rains, they consider their property something like some sacred Arc of the Covenant, or holy of holies where nobody should tread and do not want us poor besmirched, befuddled selves to be inside their sanctum. So they all, nose in the air, say no with the utmost ease that comes with some juvenile retribution for some wrong we may have done them in some itinerant other life.
So we plodded on, shoes full of water, squelching, trousers all wet, shirt too, umbrella being too flimsy a thing for a tropical downpour of such intensity. The rain was coming down like water from a freshly opened sluice gate, so full of unrestrained energy and enthusiasm, as if its sole aim was to wet us, give us a cold before it goes away finally, and like Ganpati come again the next year. There are floods in various parts of the country, and on our way we see the roadside dwellers crouching under plastic sheets which are their homes for the night.
Finally, we make it to VT and just before we reach it, we see something riveting, something that keeps amazing us still. We saw a vision: We saw a stunning nun. Yes, we saw a stunning nun through the pouring rain, she was standing with another nun before a roadside food stall, similarly cassocked (or, habit, or whatever they call it), face a reflection of some iridescent inner beauty, a bearing that would put any Miss India to shame, and features just so chiseled, they seemed like God’s own creation. Why would such a beautiful being eschew the world when she would definitely have hundreds of handsome and accomplished men swooning at her every command, we don’t know?
Well, as we said before surprises of life never cease.