raindrops on window panePinky sat inside a huge concrete pipe lying aimlessly at the side of a road. She was looking at the water which was collecting near her foot, disturbed constantly by the raindrops falling harshly from the sky. Last year when it started raining, she made paper boats and sent them on voyages. This year was poles apart. She was alone and petrified. 

She could see the chawl where she lived on the other side of the road – covered with blue plastic sheets on which rain made a rumbling noise as if trying to rouse a monster. Everyone she knew was huddled inside, placing uneven bowls at places where the huts dripped, scrapping water out as it seeped in from the doors. She then looked at the streetlamps – flickering like a dying man, mustering courage to light up the road below and failing miserably. She rested her back on the curve of the pipe and abruptly tears raced down her face, taking the dirt with them and carving two clean straight lines. My eyes are clouds, she thought. She doubted her own monsoon will ever end.

Pinky was joyful a month ago. Her mother had finally enrolled her in a nearby school run by an NGO. The sweet lady at the NGO persuaded Pinky’s mother for almost five months before she reluctantly gave in. It meant less money coming in the house and more burdens on her mother. She went to the school for five days and then that dreadful day happened, when her world turned black, just like the sky covered by dark clouds.

                                                          *

Amrita sat in the drawing room of her posh second floor apartment, staring vacantly at the raindrops as they slid down the large windowpane facing the balcony. The city beyond the window looked blurred and uncertain of its existence, but it went on. Yes, it went on irrespective of the fact that a small cog in it has stopped working. Then she looked at the raindrops as they splattered near the top of the window and lazily moved towards the bottom – sometimes meeting each other as they went down, sometimes dividing into two. She marvelled if the windowpane was a portrait of life – people met like those droplets, shared a part of their journey with each other, sometimes got separated and then walked alone. But the truth remained that there was just one eventual destination – the bottom of the window, where all the drops met, only to reach the clouds again so that the cycle could continue. She sighed and closed her eyes. She knew what kind of a raindrop she was now – the walking alone kind.

Aaryan was in high spirits when they bought this apartment. Surrounded by gardens and fountains amidst the hustle-bustle of the city, this was a dream they were waiting to come true ever since they were married three years back. When they moved in six months ago, Aaryan took her in his arms as soon as the movers and packers were out of the house. They held each other and smiled, looking around the empty space they were going to fill with their life.

“I love the balcony.” Aaryan said as they walked out greeted by a soothing wind.

As time passed, they filled the house with things they picked up after numerous deliberations, colour matching sessions and various rounds to the markets. Amrita loved to shop for small things like the wind chimes which hung in the balcony, or the Rajasthan puppets hanging from a wall in the dining area or the painting which she got for the drawing room or the rug which went under the centre table. She was creating what she always wanted to live in and there was an intoxicating satisfaction in it. Their life was perfect and Aaryan was the colour that made it more beautiful.

Amrita opened her eyes. The rain was still falling – colourless drops falling from a dark sky. There was a picture of her and Aaryan on the wall opposite to where she sat – Amrita was looking up and laughing, Aaryan was smiling and looking at the ground, his hand on her shoulder. She sat there for an eternity staring at the photo and in the end decided to come out of her misery. She could think of just one way out.

                                               *

Amrita opened the door of her apartment and let Pinky in. It took some time for Pinky to realise that this was someone’s house. For her a house was a confined space where you could hardly move. She looked at Amrita with apprehension.

“Come on.” Amrita said and held Pinky’s hand and led her in, smiling at her dust stained face. She could clearly make out the lines of tears on her face.

“This is your house?” Pinky asked.

“Yes and from today it’s yours too.” Amrita said.

Pinky looked at her with surprise.

“You will live here with me, go to school, then to college, you will make good friends, and you will get a very good job, fall in love, get married and live a very happy life.” Amrita said as she took Pinky’s face in her hands and smiled at her. Tears were welling in her eyes.

Pinky looked at her incredulously. She had seen this happen to people in movies and to people living in big houses but this was not the future of her life. She was supposed to live in a chawl wondering whether she will earn enough money for the next meal and sometimes go to sleep without eating one.

“Are you my new mother?”

“I can try.” Amrita said as she kissed Pinky’s forehead.

The wind-chimes started making ringing sounds as the wind picked up.

“It is going to rain again”. Pinky said.

“Yes, yes it will. It’s Monsoon.”

They sat there in silence as the clouds welled up, lights flashed in the sky and the downpour started.

“Can I go in the balcony?” Pinky asked suddenly.

“Yes, go ahead.” Amrita said.

She looked at Pinky as she walked into the balcony. She first touched the raindrops cautiously and then stood near the door watching them fall. She was not old enough to know the truth, Amrita thought. She had decided to wait for a few more years to tell Pinky that the car accident which killed her mother also killed Aaryan; that while trying to save her mother, Aaryan drove the car over a divider after hitting her; that he was dead before he reached the hospital. Amrita was with him in the car that day. They were laughing at a joke Aaryan was telling her. The accident left Amrita with a few scratches on her right arm and head but she was unconscious for the better part of the day.

She knew there was a little girl with the woman who died. It was raining heavily that day but she knew there were two people crossing the road when she screamed at Aaryan to stop the car. It wasn’t difficult to find Pinky. She started searching her from the chawl near the accident site and a few days later she found her, sitting inside a concrete pipe, staring at the rain.

She walked towards Pinky who was standing near the door, lost in thoughts as the rain picked up momentum and dropped in a rhythm. The raindrops have seen it all, Amrita thought. They saw the accident and they are seeing us now. The rhythm was comforting. You are not alone – the raindrops seem to be saying. She turned around and looked at the windowpane. Amidst a number of drops moving towards the bottom, she saw two drops joining together and moving down.

“I love the balcony.” Pinky said.

[[This short story won the first prize in a story writing competition and was published in the office magazine of the organization that employs me. The theme of the competition was – Monsoon. Permission has been taken from the company HR to publish the story on my blog ]]
2017-11-11T00:38:32+00:00 Tags: , , , , , , , |

About the Author:

Amit Sharma is the Author of fiction novel False Ceilings published by Lifi Publications in January 2016.
Amit always keeps a book and a portable reading light in his bag (much to the amusement of his fellow travellers). His other hobbies include watching world cinema, travelling, staring at hills, digging into various cuisines, cooking, listening to music, painting, blogging, making his daughter laugh and helping his wife with her unnecessary and prolonged shopping.
He is currently working on his Second novel which is a thriller.

66 Comments

  1. Dhivya January 25, 2013 at 12:11 am - Reply

    Wow Amit …I loved reading this story though it makes me feel sad. (Ur posts are mostly hilarious. )
    Superb.!!!!
    Congrats.

    • Amit January 25, 2013 at 6:29 am - Reply

      Thanks Dhivya.
      I really don’t know why but my short stories are usually sad. I need to get rid of this disability. 🙂

  2. Maddie January 25, 2013 at 12:38 am - Reply

    Superb!! Loved it. 🙂

    • Amit January 25, 2013 at 6:29 am - Reply

      Thanks Maddie. 🙂

  3. Rickie Khosla January 25, 2013 at 12:58 am - Reply

    Very poignant, Amit. The analogy of raindrops was lovely.
    Hope you write more of this kind often!

    • Amit January 25, 2013 at 6:33 am - Reply

      Thanks Rickie. Believe it or not, I explained this analogy to a team member three years ago in Manchester while travelling in a bus. I remember we were sitting in the front row of the upper deck of the double-decker and staring at the raindrops on the huge windowpane in front of us.
      It just came back while writing this.

  4. Zephyr January 25, 2013 at 7:19 am - Reply

    A very positive twist to an otherwise sad tale, Amit. I am not surprised it won the first prize. I feel that stories coming from the heart are more effective and are better in terms of content — both literary and thematic.

    • Amit January 25, 2013 at 7:56 am - Reply

      Thanks Zephyr.
      Yeah, that happens very frequently with me. Whenever I write with the aim of winning something, I never get it. You really have to shut everything else out and enjoy the act of writing.

  5. scribblehappy January 25, 2013 at 9:06 am - Reply

    Poignant yet heartwarming. I loved the way you described the raindrops.

    • Amit January 25, 2013 at 9:48 am - Reply

      Thanks Scribblehappy.

  6. kayemofnmy January 25, 2013 at 9:15 am - Reply

    Was touched. Great story, Amit.

  7. pixie January 25, 2013 at 10:21 am - Reply

    wow! its poignant and beauitfully written.. the sadness and the hope, the small joys tug your heart…
    Loved it Amit

    • Amit January 26, 2013 at 8:10 am - Reply

      Thanks Pixie. Yes, we can always find joy after a day of sadness.

  8. Rachna January 25, 2013 at 10:33 am - Reply

    I quite loved the story — bittersweet! You do a fabulous job of writing poignant posts. You must do it more often. I love the new background by the way, blue being my favorite color. But why blue font? isn’t black or gray ideal? Do check out the new look of my blog. I moved to self hosted recently and let me know if you are facing any glitches including feed or notification problems.

    • Amit January 26, 2013 at 8:19 am - Reply

      Thanks Rachna. I don’t know why but all my short stories are serious!
      I usually get bored of my blog theme pretty quickly. That green theme was an exception and it spent the longest time on this blog. I love this background too!
      I will check my RSS feed for your blog.

  9. N January 25, 2013 at 10:58 am - Reply

    Great Story… Really really really loved it- almost as much as the rain.

  10. Ashwathy January 25, 2013 at 11:42 am - Reply

    Love the way how you have interwoven the threads together…. 🙂

    • Amit January 26, 2013 at 8:21 am - Reply

      Thanks Ash. Yeah, what’s a story without a bit of a suspense at the end? 🙂

  11. Visha January 25, 2013 at 12:08 pm - Reply

    How wonderfully you connected the raindrops to our lives. I love this aspect – of finding meanings and analogies in things animate and inanimate.

    Very good narrative and a beautiful heartwarming story Amit 🙂

    • Amit January 26, 2013 at 8:23 am - Reply

      Thanks Visha. Yes, there are meanings and stories hidden everywhere. We just have to look at things in a different perspective.

  12. metherebel January 25, 2013 at 2:26 pm - Reply

    Brilliant Amit!

    I loved raindrops analogy, the metaphors and the detailed story telling 🙂 No wonder you won first prize for it!

    • Amit January 26, 2013 at 8:25 am - Reply

      Thanks Metherebel. 🙂

  13. Bhavia January 25, 2013 at 2:33 pm - Reply

    No wonder you won the prize.
    the last line has a story in it;it is so powerful

    • Amit January 26, 2013 at 8:27 am - Reply

      Yes, the last line…I almost had an urge to give Amrita’s reaction to it but then left it to the reader.
      Thanks Bhavia. 🙂

  14. Jas January 25, 2013 at 2:35 pm - Reply

    Very beautiful story Amit. No wonder it won the first prize 🙂 I actually loved the simple details in it that makes the story more alive. well done.

  15. me January 25, 2013 at 4:18 pm - Reply

    behad khoobsoorat!!..

  16. umashankar January 25, 2013 at 8:21 pm - Reply

    Loved the imagery of rains and raindrops streaming on the windowpane. I am happy for the positive end. It is the kind that is progressing from being unlikely to impossible in our society.

    • Amit January 26, 2013 at 8:32 am - Reply

      Thanks Uma. I am hopeful that there are still some people out there who won’t hesitate to do what Amrita did.

  17. Priya Sreeram (@priyasreeram) January 25, 2013 at 8:43 pm - Reply

    hard hitting yet inspiring story amit. A positive end – i liked the fact that amrita promises herself to tell the girl about what actually happened in a few years from now. Lovely – It deserved to win the first prize

    • Amit January 26, 2013 at 8:34 am - Reply

      Thanks Priya. Yes, the girl deserve to know the truth and then it is up to her to accept it or not.

  18. debajyoti January 25, 2013 at 10:48 pm - Reply

    this story deserves nothing less than a first prize no matter where you send it!!! amazing writing Amit!! and also the thought behind the writing which deserves a round of applause too!

    • Amit January 26, 2013 at 8:35 am - Reply

      Thanks Deb! You are very nice. 😀

  19. Sreetama January 26, 2013 at 12:36 am - Reply

    Amazing story Amit! The similarity of the situations of both Pinky and Amrita gave me goosebumps. Monsoon and rain have always had a special place in my heart so loved the story even more. Congrats! 🙂

    • Amit January 26, 2013 at 8:37 am - Reply

      Thanks Sreetama. Yes, even though their lives were poles apart, pain hit them equally and then brought them together.

  20. Rahul Aggarwal January 26, 2013 at 8:53 pm - Reply

    Amit, you are a gift to the blogging community .. hats-off to you !

    you are not only superb in writing satire and comedy .. you are also amazing in writing serious stories as well !

    • Amit January 27, 2013 at 7:30 pm - Reply

      Errr….ahem… thanks Rahul. If you say so. 🙂

  21. purbaray January 27, 2013 at 3:07 pm - Reply

    Too idealistic I felt. But your narration is very evocative.

    • Amit January 27, 2013 at 7:31 pm - Reply

      I guess it was an exception and hence a story worth telling.

  22. indu chhibber January 27, 2013 at 4:57 pm - Reply

    This is the first story of yours which i have read & now i will hunt for more,you certainly deserved the first prize there.
    It is so easy to slip into self pity but you show that it is equally easy & gratifying to but a new lease of life.

    • Amit January 27, 2013 at 7:33 pm - Reply

      Thanks Indu. Yes, both of them would have carried on with their lives but then Amrita took a decision that changed everything.

  23. Nisha January 27, 2013 at 5:20 pm - Reply

    Only if everyone in the world was like that!
    Wonderfully written.

    • Amit January 27, 2013 at 7:33 pm - Reply

      Thanks Nisha. 🙂

  24. The Girl Next Door January 28, 2013 at 12:51 pm - Reply

    What a lovely story, Amit! Loved it.
    Liked the way you have given the story a positive twist. 🙂

    • Amit January 28, 2013 at 5:04 pm - Reply

      Thanks TGND. I guess that is why it won the prize. 🙂

  25. ashreyamom January 28, 2013 at 3:30 pm - Reply

    nice story.. finding goodness in bad incidents..

    • Amit January 28, 2013 at 5:05 pm - Reply

      Thanks Ashreyamom. Yes, it is rare but it happens. 🙂

  26. pseudomonaz January 28, 2013 at 5:15 pm - Reply

    What a beautiful story! And so different from what you write usually. I am not surprised it won the first prize. Congrats. 🙂

    • Amit January 28, 2013 at 10:40 pm - Reply

      Thanks Pseudomonaz. 🙂

  27. Saanjh January 28, 2013 at 10:58 pm - Reply

    What a beautiful story. A mixed emotion of sadness and positivity. Very well balanced. Loved it completely. No wonder it won the first prize.. 🙂

    • Amit January 29, 2013 at 8:53 pm - Reply

      Thanks Saanjh. 🙂

  28. Latha January 29, 2013 at 6:23 am - Reply

    Been busy lately and couldn’t catch up on your posts, Amit. Loved reading the story…a bit sad, a bit unreal, but still I loved it. Because it had a happy ending 🙂

    • Amit January 29, 2013 at 8:59 pm - Reply

      I was actually wondering where you have vanished. 🙂
      Thanks for liking the story.

      • latha January 30, 2013 at 1:43 am

        Glad that you remembered me…been stuck in work neck deep and trying to float…:-)

  29. Tushar Agarwal February 2, 2013 at 2:06 pm - Reply

    A very nice read. The raindrops were so in sync.

  30. Archie February 18, 2013 at 3:41 pm - Reply

    Heart wrenching…

    • Amit February 18, 2013 at 6:31 pm - Reply

      Thanks Archie. I am glad that you liked it.

  31. Nirvana February 18, 2013 at 4:36 pm - Reply

    Not your usual style, Amit. But surprise, surprise – you are versatile!! Well written – Monsoons always have an air of melancholy which you’ve captured well.

    • Amit February 18, 2013 at 6:32 pm - Reply

      Hehe! Thanks Nirvana. 🙂 I like writing sad and gloomy stories.

  32. SS February 22, 2013 at 2:41 pm - Reply

    I dont know if you remember …We (u, me & Sumit) were in bus to Manchester city centre, it was drizlling and we were on the upper deck front row and you said the exact lines to me gazing at the droplets in the windowpane ,

    ” Life is like the rain drops on the window with forks and unions”

    ….we laughed at your philosophy that day but nothing can explain it more pertinent than this story…..Nicely written Amit! 🙂

    • Amit February 22, 2013 at 3:44 pm - Reply

      Yes, Sonia I remember it very well. 🙂 And that was the thought I used in this story.
      Did we laugh that day? I don’t remember. I think you liked what I said. 🙂

      • SS February 22, 2013 at 4:11 pm

        Ofcourse, i liked. But, i did mock at your thought as to only you can think this way! 😀

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