This was when I was young and free of cares. It was 1980, I think. Long caftans were in fashion, at least in downmarket Barrackpore. I had a black-and-yellow patterned one, and I was very proud of my tiger-outfit. Like any other seven-year-old.
There was a khelar math (playground) near our house, used for football in summers, cricket in winters (this was way before the 24x7x365 cricket blitz), and for swimming in monsoon.
Or so we thought. A few days of heavy rain had submerged the green grass completely with only a few ‘islands’ poking out here and there. Tadpoles were swimming invitingly in the shallow ‘sea’. A few of us adventurous souls went chasing these ‘sea-monsters’, splashing about merrily…first with our kaftans (and what-not) lifted above our knees, and then, abandoning all pretense and caution, rushing headlong into the muddy water.
It was bliss to get so thoughtlessly wet, and great fun to splash the timid ones. If we jumped energetically, we could make waves in the water. We island-hopped gaily, wringing our dresses dry before plunging back into the water once more.
Full of glee and wet to the gills, I never noticed my mother till I felt the sharp sting as she literally pulled me by the ear and dragged miscreant-me off the danger zone. I was hauled back home, and was made to sit with my chilly feet immersed in a tub full of hot water and my chastised ears buzzing with pain and scolding, my bedraggled kaftan hanging on the clothesline. It never regained its original bright-yellowiness, remaining muddied with memory of my tadpole-in-tiger-disguise ‘misadventure’.
DO SHARE A HAPPY RAIN MEMORY WITH US.