It was raining heavily outside. Reva could hear the rain lashing on her roof. She had closed all the doors and windows of her house. She felt depressed when it rained and wished it would stop raining. The rains always brought back old memories. Memories, she would rather not think about. But, the rains continued in full fury and Reva was transferred back into those times when she was just 18.
It all happened 10 years earlier when she was 18. Reva was studying for her degree in Arts and she simply enjoyed going to college. Attending lectures, roaming around the college campus during free lectures and eating samosas coupled with hot masala tea was her regular routine. Her parents were both working and she was their only daughter. Life was easy for Reva. She was doted upon by her parents and was loved by all her relatives. Yet, Reva felt something missing. She was not sure what was lacking, but a feeling of incompletion always surrounded her. She was not even sure what the feeling was or what she was seeking. It was only on that rainy day that she found out.
It was raining heavily and her class had a free hour. Reva loved the rains unlike her friends who disliked the murky weather it brought about. Reva and her friends rushed to the canteen for steaming hot cups of tea. They settled down at the corner seat in the canteen. As Reva peeped outside the transparent glass windows, she saw an image. It was of a boy rushing towards the canteen. He didn’t have an umbrella and was soaking wet. She had never seen him before. She knew most of the students in her college and was sure he had taken admission recently. As he entered the canteen, Reva’s eyes followed him as he took a seat in the other end of the canteen. He looked a bit older than she had guessed. Maybe he was a final year student. There was something about this boy that fascinated Reva. She had many friends, but most of them were girls. Though she talked with most of the boys, she always kept a distance.
This was because she felt uncomfortable around boys. But this boy was different. He was totally drenched and yet he looked comfortable. Reva felt like walking up to him and talking to him. This was quite unlike her nature and she reprimanded herself for thinking such thoughts.
The canteen was not crowded today. Reva kept glancing across at that boy from above her tea cup. Her friends were discussing about the latest film released and did not notice her silence. The boy had also ordered for tea and was sipping it silently totally unaware of Reva and her friends. The rains had subsided and the boy having finished the tea, walked out of the canteen. It was with great effort that Reva held herself to her seat. She had felt like following the boy and finding out which class he was in. What had gotten into her? Why was she behaving in this strange fashion? All these questions popped up in her mind. What kind of attraction was this?
The whole day at college passed in a trance for Reva. She was hoping to see that boy again. One more lecture, and she could go out of the class and maybe, just by chance spot the boy somewhere in the campus. As the professor entered the class, the students stopped talking and became silent. Reva glanced up from her books as she heard the professor’s voice. She got the shock of her life to see that boy standing across the room, introducing himself as the substitute professor for Psychology. This boy was a professor! He looked so young that she had assumed him to be a student. He had managed to dry his hair and clothes. He introduced himself as professor Navin. So that was his name! Reva hardly heard what Pr. Navin spoke. As the lecture ended, Reva found herself getting up and going across the classroom to speak to Navin. As she stood in front of the professor, she suddenly felt shy and was dumbfounded..
Navin had seen Reva staring at him in the canteen. He was impressed by her looks and was surprised to see her in his class. Now as she stood in front of him, not speaking a single word, he got a complete close up look of her. She was beautiful. As she looked up to meet his eyes, he felt an attraction that he had never felt before. He longed to listen to her voice.
That was when Reva spoke. He hardly heard a word of what she said. She was equally attracted to him. Her eyes said it all. Reva muttered a ‘Thank you’ and rushed out with her friends. This rainy day she would never forget in her life. She was feeling complete and whole as a person. She felt like her body had turned light and she could fly, soar up in the sky and float across clouds. She had fallen in love. Maybe this was the feeling she had been seeking.
Reva walked home with the hope of seeing Navin again tomorrow and hoping to speak much more than she had today. But fate had something else in mind. As she reached home, her father hugged her and started sobbing incessantly. It was with great difficulty that he was able to convey that her mother had met with an accident and was in the ICU at the hospital. There were very little chances of her survival. Reva felt her knees weaken and she fainted. Her mother never recovered and expired two days later. It was the worst 48 hours of her life. Her father went about the final rites mechanically. He couldn’t come to terms with his loss. He applied for a voluntary retirement and decided to go back to the village. He informed Reva of his decision and asked her to complete her graduation via correspondence from the university. Reva was unable to say a single word. She went along with her father’s decision like a zombie.
The village was a beautiful and peaceful place. Her grandparents were very supportive and loving. Yet Reva felt depressed. She felt like she had lost more than just her mother. She had lost Navin. The special feeling she had felt for him which had made her feel complete as a person was also lost. Would she ever see Navin again? She could not share with her father, what she had felt on that rainy day. So, slowly she came out of her stupor and completed graduation as per her father’s wishes. Her father had started a small business in the village and was quite successful in his venture. Her father then started looking for a good match for her marriage. Reva was not interested in marrying and told her father that she would like to take up a job and make a place in this world for herself like her mother. Luckily, Reva got a job in the city and she bade goodbye to her father and grandparents.
That was all ten years ago. Her father had constantly tried to get her married off but with no avail. She had made several excuses for not marrying and yesterday her father had given her an ultimatum. As the downpour continued, thoughts of Navin troubled her. Image of a totally drenched Navin flashed in her mind. She closed her eyes tightly trying to remove the image from her mind and that was when she heard the door bell. Who could it be at this hour, with these heavy rains ringing her doorbell? She ignored the bell but it went on ringing persistently. Finally, she decided to check who it was. As she opened the door, she saw a drenched person standing in front of her. It was Navin. He looked much older but yet the same. He smiled at her and asked her to open the door completely, so that he could step inside.
With shivering hands, Reva closed the door. They both stared at each other. Navin couldn’t believe his eyes that it was Reva standing in front of him. Surely she must be married by now. He spoke to her telling her that he had come to the nearby supermarket and the downpour had caught him by surprise. Finally seeing no signs of the rain stopping, he had decided to seek shelter in a nearby house. And that house had turned out to be hers. Reva listened to Navin all the while wondering if he was married. She had waited for 10 years in the hope of meeting him someday. And here he was standing in front of her. Navin had not married and had gone to the US after his brief stint at the college. He had returned recently and had landed the post of the principal in the same college. Reva felt elated at the information and spoke of all that had happened in the last 10 years. The attraction they had felt had been mutual and permanent. Neither of them could have imagined leading a life with another person. Both had remained single.
So, Reva finally saw Navin after 10 years, totally drenched and soaking wet due to the rains. It was because of the rains that he had made a dash for her house and they had met. She no longer felt that the rains were depressing and went across the room to open the windows. She had found her love due to the rains and the sound of the raindrops felt like heaven now. Her Navin had come back in her life and this time it was for ever………..