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:: Sunday, March 30, 2008 ::

Cycling and the Rains

When I started out of home with the cycle, it looked like a normal day. There was a thin cloud cover which had been hovering on the city for a few days now, but it hardly looked like it is going to rain. I took off with the usual thought - 'been a nice weather, let me go now'.

I made past Jayanagar and to South End Circle and picked up a few magazines from a news agent there, the ones that I could not find near home. I was about head back and suddenly realized I had not noticed the fading light. It was only 3pm but looked like 6 in the evening; clouds had loomed in the sky and a few drops had already fallen.

'What to do,' I wondered. They were dark clouds, covered the whole sky and it thundered once in a while. Downpour was imminent and from the looks of the clouds, it would last for more than an hour. To head back or to wait was a hard decision to make, and I must have taken good five minutes figuring out and trying to put some logic into my mind. It would be a long boring wait if I were to wait for the rains to stop and clouds clear up. I decided 'lemme get drenched if I must' and took off.

Light drizzle and a gentle wind teased me as soon as I took off. Those who have known the leafy road passing along Laxman Rao park would know how much fun it would be to pass through it on a nice cloudy day with rains coming on and off. I cycled a kilometer or two with few drops falling on me every now and then. 'Such pleasure being here', I thought, 'I hope it doesn't rain hard till I reach home'. Before I knew, it had started pouring but I did not realize it as the rain takes much longer to drop down through the thick tree cover.

I got the first taste of big drops on me only when I passed through a junction with a patch sans tree cover. It started coming harder as I moved forward and in a moment it started pouring like mad. The few bikers on the road parked their vehicles and ran to find shelter. I was already pretty wet and decided to move on anyway, as I did not find any place near by to get under. I thought it is going to be a painful ride home but in a flash I figured I am actually having a ball out there in the middle of downpour. It was only a mental block that was telling me characteristically that one has to escape from rains and getting drenched would be a painful experience, but the thought drifted away in that moment of realization.

I rode ahead having absolute fun even as the rain hammered down at a speed that I had not seen in many months. Visibility was coming down and a few cars on the road had turned on their headlights. Some older cars without air conditioning had pulled over, unable to see through fogged windshields. It rained harder and I was reminded of BBMP's signs at the entry to Laxman Rao road warning that trees and branches tend to fall on the road on stormy days. But I rode on as my spirits were high and there was hardly anything I could do about it anyway.

Within a few minutes roads had turned into rivers and at times I had to get down and walk. Instead of staying off from them, I walked right through the puddles and played in the water, dragging my feet through the flowing water. At times when I was riding through the flow on the road, it felt as though I am gliding on them, and sometimes drifting with the flow. The tree lined road to my house was dimly lit and heavy drops from the leaves dripped on me continuously as I passed through them. For all the fun I was having, I nearly considered continuing further away from home in the rains.

My clothes, wallet, phone, the magazines I had bought, everything was completely drenched when I reached home. I was in such good mood, it hardly mattered. And coming home and standing under the shower was almost like letting the rains continue to pour on me all over again.

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