It was a cloudy day in the month of October. I had just reached my house. The taxi driver helped me with the luggage. I took a quick shower and got dressed. Settled in my armchair, I looked out of the window. It had begun to rain. An earthy smell enveloped the lawn. Raindrops splattered on my window, bubbling with a mirth I found hard to relate to.
I had never really liked rain. The dark skies, the chilling breeze…the whole thing seemed depressing. But Sujatha had always loved rain. Dancing in the rain with careless abandon, splashing the water in the puddles with a childlike enthusiasm…I found all this extremely amusing. “How can getting yourself so hopelessly wet give you so much joy?” I had once asked her. She had thrown me her enchanting, mischievous smile and had dragged me from the warm confines of my armchair onto the lawn. The look on my face had made her giggle. I had chased her around the house like a madman till we both collapsed on the couch – wet, exhausted and very much in love.
Six months? Was it just six months ago that I had returned to this house from Sujatha’s funeral? I could still feel the rage that had engulfed my heart that fateful day. Helplessness, really. Every object in the house seemed to remind me of her. I had picked up a rod and smashed everything I could lay my hands on – the dressing table sitting in front of which she would admire herself, the table lamp with which she would play at night, the chair sitting on which she would write her diary. Everything, everything… I wanted to destroy everything.
But the house! The goddamn house! I couldn’t destroy the house which held her memories in its every nook and corner. Only one thought hammered in my mind – I had to get away from this place…this place which seemed to taunt me with its very existence. I had packed my bags and left. I stayed in a hotel for 6 months. But I couldn’t obviously stay in a hotel for the rest of my life. This house was to be sold… I had arranged for it. I had come to bid a final adieu. I was leaving for Trivandrum in the evening – I had requested for a transfer and got one.
It had stopped raining long back. Time to leave. I hailed a taxi and reached the railway station. It was 30 minutes before the train was scheduled to arrive. An unexplainable feeling…what was it? I felt as though I was leaving something behind…someone behind. It was then that I realized I didn’t want to leave. I didn’t want to abandon the house where I had spent some of the sweetest moments of my life. I didn’t want to leave Sujatha. The skies opened up and it began to pour again. I smiled. I walked back in the rain to my home. Our home.