Its raining here in Mumbai and in such a situation what is required the most is a cup of tea with some garma-garam pakodas and the thing that should never be is an exam. I am one such lucky fellow who is staying in a hostel where tea and hot pakodas are luxury and only to be dreamt of but I can’t even dream properly because exams are giving nightmares to about 75 students in this hostel.
Another very important thing that one should keep in the unpredictable rains of Mumbai is an umbrella which I had for past two years but lost it on the very first day of the rains and when I ran from room-to-room to search it, one senior had a great laugh and commented that the most stupid person on this earth is one who losses his umbrella in rains. Yes, I am that idiot. But it is not just that I lost my umbrella and my senior called me an idiot that saddens me but it is the sentiment that was attached to the umbrella I lost.
Before I joined Mumbai for my masters’ course, I was in Kerala doing my Bachelors’ degree. Kerala is one such place where the sun shows no mercy and the rains fall as if the drops will drill right through the skull and dissolve the brain. I was never used to keeping umbrella for two reasons; one, I am from a place where it rains very less and snows more and if the sun shines bright then the mountain breeze keep your head cool: another reason for not keeping an umbrella is that I waste a lot of time because of it!! Umbrella and time waste? Yes, I waste lot of time thinking, imagining and trying to recall all the places that I visited with my umbrella that I lost. I am a big idiot, really.
So, back to Kerala story. In Kerala, I would battle sun everyday and sooth my skin using lactocalamine every evening. One day somebody took lactocalamine to never return it back and then I didn’t dare to buy it again. Then came the rains in Kerala and people saw me getting wet, searching for shelter and wasting time hiding under anything that would not make me see sky. I could do anything to avoid rains but not buy an umbrella as for that I would need to travel 15 minutes in bus to a nearby junction market and a lazy bug like me would never do that.
Seeing all my laziness and my habit to get baked and drenched my love, my great friend bought me an umbrella. I was so shy to take it then but it was a great help. Within three weeks I detached the umbrella cover from one of its rib tip. In next couple of months the sleeve clip was also lost so now my umbrella would fall short every time. This made me name my umbrella ‘langda’. Poor langda was never sent for repair as that was the beauty and speciality of it. I started taking lot of care of it and nothing happened to it since then.
Recently I had a break up with my girlfriend and I tried to keep all the things that reminded me of her away from my sight but langda was never in my sight; it was not raining in Mumbai and poor langda was on vacation inside my almirah.
One fine evening the heavens started to grumble and making noise. It was about to rain. We all loved it and I even wrote a blog on it. The rain continued the next day too and while going to college langda was summoned. It was very dear to me, as my friend. It reminded me of the love that she once had for me. Langda protected me from rains, sun and the splashes made by speeding cars on the road. I was very proud in the hostel among all careless boarders to take an umbrella out in the rain when everybody else was looking at the sky to dry up. I walked proudly to the college and reached at the right time.
On evening I came back to my room and kept langda to dry outside. I thought to sneak a sleep and when I woke up, langda was gone. It was not found. I searched from room to room, became a matter of laughter, few guys even scorned back but langda was not found. Langda is missing since then and I am missing it a lot. I feel as if I have had another breakup. Langda was a reminder of love to me. It was an expression of care that somebody had for me. I have lost it.
Now, I think I should have not accepted that gift as I knew of my habit of missing umbrellas. I have lost many and don’t even remember their colour by now but langda was special with anti-UV coating under its cover. It had my friend’s name written on one side. It was a memory and has become a memory. I think gifting umbrella is a very stupid idea because I read it in newspaper once that umbrella is one of them most common things that people forget. So, gifting something that might be lost is certainly not a good idea for me. And after the langda’s mishap I have learned a good lesson out of it. And the lesson is, not to be extra cautious and alert, as I can never be that, but the lesson is to not to gift umbrella to your love.