“Chennai again!” That’s what crossed my mind as I boarded the plane. I first came to Chennai when I was in my teens and since then Chennai had become an integral part of me. Be as a student or for work, Chennai kept reappearing in my life from time to time. And over these years I had built memories, some to cherish, and few I wish I could forget. As much as I look forward to coming here, a part of me always dreads the thought. This time I tried reasoning it but failed, so with reluctance, I assumed defeat.
With my mind clouded with few such thoughts, I landed yesterday in Chennai. As I walked out of the airport, the subdued temperature welcomed me. Dark clouds were looming over and the entire atmosphere appeared gloomy, which by no measure was helping my deplorable self. I had a busy evening and soon I got engaged with work. Though transient, it helped push aside the intrinsic battle with my perturbations.
It was around 9:00 PM when I decided to head towards the hotel. It was a long day and all I desired was a good night sleep. As I stepped out I saw Chennai soaked in a deluge. The late November breeze surprised me with a distinct petrichor smell. I looked through the water droplets crashing on the car’s window, and in that moment I transposed back to the times when I used to live here.
Chennai was home for me during my late teens. And the sudden gush of rain revived all the past memories with vigor. The hot merciless summer when even after taking bath you find a trickle of sweat gracing your temple. When we used to keep water on the cemented floor to bring the mercury down by few notches. And the winters, when we preferred keeping a blanket next to us so that we don’t have to get up to switch off the fan in the early wee hours before it turns too cold. The long wait of monsoonal rain, when we dashed to the open, including the landlord daughter, on whom I had a deep crush.
The shades of those beautiful times played with vividness and Chennai was not gloomy for me anymore.
Copyright © Shantanu Baruah