It was Friday night, and an awesome beginning to a long weekend. Standing in his wide open balcony, Parashar lit his pipe; it black polished roundness radiating warmth in his palm. The drive back to home today elevated his heart; the torrential monsoon finally embraced the city today. The frantically moving wind shield wiper was barely able to clear the water. He hummed Jagjeet’s tunes through his journey.
The rain has barely stopped, the sloping road inside his gated apartment complex had numerous streams flowing down. The trees seemed to be as happy as him, washed, bright, and glowing under the street lights. The evening sky was still loaded with dark clouds. Occasional flash of lightning tearing it’s heart. And Parashar then noticed the chimney – about a kilometer away. That’s were the local foundries are. They started blowing out plumes of whitish grey smoke. Still with the smile of satisfaction hanging from the corner of his lips, Parashar walks in to looks for his Jack Daniel’s single malt.
Bhagwandas, was happy entering the foundry. It was beginning of the night shift, manager-saab told him, starting today, there will be work for next ten days. Ten days of continuous work. Looks like the tabeez he got from the pandit last Saturday, finally giving its result. What day is today? Is it Saturday again? He forgot to thank the deity while he passed the temple below the banyan tree. No, it is Friday, that’s what manager-saab said. . The rain just stopped as he crossed the iron gates of the foundry. He couldn’t afford to stop and be late. And even if he stopped, the torrential rain wouldn’t have let him stay dry too long. So he drove his rickety bicycle over the broken roads of the industrial area, and enjoyed the rain.
It was quite some time since he allowed himself to get drenched. Usually these rains make him sick. The weak body trying to feed the six heads at home was no longer as strong as it was when he married Durga couple of decades back. But today was different. He finally got work after sitting idle for nearly a whole month. His savings were long gone. With pandit’s tabeez giving him the belief, he enjoyed the rain. That was why he didn’t mind when the potholed road made his cycle jump precariously, throwing him and his tiffin career off-balance. The four chapatti and potato curry Durga gave for his dinner were now adorning the mud filled pavement. It doesn’t matter, the daily wage he will get tomorrow morning will be enough for the whole family. The added bonus of night shift might give allow a few smokes too.
Every now and then Bablu was peeking his head out of the dark shelter under the tea vendor’s platform. He was hoping the rain would stop soon. The wound on his left fore-leg was still raw; no matter how much he licked it, it kept burning. This heavy rain was not helping much either. Each time the wheels two-legged one’s ride passed by, it sprayed muddy water, and he had to lick all over again. The rain also stopped him from searching for food in the nearby dump beside the dhaba. That black Kittu and his four litters must have cleaned it by now. There were also very thin crowd at the tea stall. None of the usual guys who gave bread crumbs or occasional biscuits were around today. And then came the “clang” !
The rain was not that bad after all. The puddle didn’t let the guy see the pothole, and his two wheeler dunked in. The metal box he was carrying, fell with a sweet clang – and there it was! The tempting smell of hot food. The guy seemed to be in a happy mood, and didn’t bother to retrieve any part of it, and simply took his metal box and walked in through the metal gate. He once again sneaked out his snout, the smell in the air seemed to suggest the rain has stopped. Limping on his three legs, he came out. Looked around to make sure no one else has seen the treat in front of him. He took his time to stretch his legs and back. Slowly moved towards his dinner, sniffed it’s savory smell and put his head down to gulp them. He had this feeling that next couple of days might be thin in food supply. And then he felt the warmth radiating from the shed behind the Iron gate, and the sound coming from inside. Something in his head told him, the two-legged ones are back inside, he might not have to go hungry for a few days now.