Raindrop [NEW]

Ibrahim Waheed “Kalaavehi”

Kilometers high in the icy-cold reaches of the atmosphere, the mute raindrop grew around a minute crystal of ice very near its melting point. Joining millions of others in the rapid fall earthwards through gray skies, it had no idea what its destination would be before it would have to obey the laws of nature and join the community of like-minded equals to run off somewhere, perhaps into the raw earth to nurture the roots of a healthy tree, perhaps down a storm drain and into the sewers and beyond, or even into a fierce roaring flash flood.

As unrelenting gravity pulled at its guts with strong and invisible hands, as the devious wind slanted it from true vertical, the raindrop felt itself gathering speed, soon to reach that delicate terminal balance between acceleration due to gravity and aerodynamic drag. Looking around, it saw some of its larger companions breaking up; some of its smaller friends raced right past while some near-equals tried to provide tentative company, sometimes succeeding in doing so.

A slowly growing chorus of metallic screams made the raindrop look down more carefully. Even though raindrops are supposed to maintain a close approximation of silence under any kind of torture, they relinquish all claims to dignity when they meet manmade objects – in this case an unavoidable corrugated metal roof of indeterminate but definitely old age. Thus, every raindrop that hit the roof screamed its heart out, creating out that veritable cacophony of noise. Lacking prior experience in belly-flopping onto anodized steel, our raindrop vowed to be the first ever raindrop to fall silently onto one.

As the soft underbelly of the fast-dropping raindrop touched the solid, unmoving cold steel of the roof, it felt a terrible gut-wrenching pain tear at its very consciousness. Forced beyond all capacity to physically endure the rapid stop, the raindrop felt an involuntary scream rise up from the depths of a soul it did not know it had. Unable to hear itself shriek, the raindrop broke up and fainted.

When the raindrop awoke, it was sliding along a rusty old valley of metal, holding hands and cuddling up to more like itself for reassurance, courage and hope. But it knew. It knew that no state was permanent and that more dire things would happen before it found final solace in the bosom of the earth to which it was destined to reach. And that was when it saw the rusty ragged edges of the hole in the roof….

Years ago, in the fun-filled corridors of secondary school, a promising young girl had grown around a more-than-minute crystal of hope that one day she would have had a happy, contented life. Joining a hundred others in the race to join the excitement of adult life, she had had no idea what her destination would be before she, too, would have had to finally obey the laws of nature and join the ranks of the elderly and finally the dead, placed into the raw earth to nurture the roots of a healthy tree…

As the unrelenting challenges of life had pulled at her guts with strong and invisible hands, as the devious hands of temptation had sometimes slanted her from true vertical, she had felt itself gathering a certain momentum. She had had a few romances, a few affairs, even a bad marriage. She had wanted a happy life as defined by her contemporaries, filled with love and care of the roses-on-my-birthday kind. She had wanted a baby to look after and a song to croon it to sleep every night. Soon to reach that delicate terminal between unfulfilled hope and permanent shelving, she looked around her and saw nothing but squalor. Looking around her, she saw an empty bed, old furniture, a need to hang on to a better past, and a leaky iron roof with a hole in it….

As the raindrop reached that ragged and rusty edges of the hole in the roof, it tried desperately to cling on to the sides of the precipice, without success. As rusting iron tried to tear it to pieces, it tried to stay whole and in doing so lost its hold on the unforgiving metal. It fell with a splash onto the aged floor and lay there in a sad, slowly growing pool…..

As the woman looked at the hole in the roof and saw how low she had sunk in life, she tried desperately to maintain her own dignified composure. As years of unstated grief tired to tear her heart to pieces, she tried to stay in control of her emotions and in doing so lost her hold on the last tatters of a self-imposed, false dignity. She fell with a sob onto her bed and lay there weeping, a stain of tears slowly growing on a sad, old pillow…..

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  • shifa  On October 1, 2010 at 11:04 am

    wonderful description of rain drops, how it formed and how it come to an end ….how you related it with the girl in this story …. my god i am speechless…
    hatsoff to your marvelous work its amazing ……. i just wanted to say thankyou Waheed and may God bless you

  • mysterystar  On October 1, 2010 at 1:12 pm

    Great work! you are a philosopher and a star that burning so bright. Love your work always.

    • ldive  On October 4, 2010 at 2:45 pm

      Philosopher yes! The only claim to being a star is that I was born in a house called ‘Tharijehige’ [translation: starry house]

  • Azu  On October 2, 2010 at 7:27 pm

    “She tried to stay in control of her emotions and in doing so lost her hold on the last tatters of a self-imposed, false dignity….”
    How many of us women have had this experience? How is it possible that you, Mr. Waheed, read the innermost chambers of us womens’ hearts so clearly and so easily?
    How hurt have YOU been to see in my heart so easily?
    Somehow, I feel you yourself going through something like this to write like this. Am I right, sir?

    • ldive  On October 4, 2010 at 2:43 pm

      “Dear God, when are You, in all your Wisdom, Mercy and Beneficence, going to give me just a little bit of happiness in this world with someone I can deeply and truly love, with someone who returns that love in kind? When, Dear God, when?”
      I have sometimes heard this being silently said across the seas and in many silent eyes….

      • mysterystar  On October 4, 2010 at 6:07 pm

        you are precious to me that I will be there for you.

    • ldive  On October 19, 2010 at 6:28 pm

      There was a time when I , too, was hurt beyond measure. But I think I am ok now! I can see the beauty of life now….

  • curious_mind  On October 4, 2010 at 9:59 am

    wonderful piece of work Mr.Waheedh…thanks for sharing

    • ldive  On October 4, 2010 at 2:28 pm

      Thank you for your continued support!

  • silentfingers  On October 4, 2010 at 10:09 pm

    How I missed visiting this magical little place 🙂
    Yet again, another masterfully finished piece of work. I have read it thrice, and each time I ended up deriving a different meaning. Finally, I arrived to a point where I could no longer find a connection between the raindrop and the woman, except for this:

    “..as the devious hands of temptation had sometimes slanted her from true vertical..” and “..saw how low she had sunk in life..”

    “Kaali gataa ko khul ke barasna nasseb ho
    Yaa-rab zameen ki pyaas agar tu sameyt le”

    • ldive  On October 5, 2010 at 5:31 pm

      ‘Indebteness’ is a word that does not even begin to describe what I feel towards someone who takes the time out to read one of mine THRICE while professing a self-confessed aversion to reading others’ works for fear of undue influence ;-).
      I thank you for being you! And I should thank Him for you!
      As for the feelings expressed in Urdu….. May He give you continued wisdom.
      When I think of clouds, an old song wafts in on a wisp of memory..
      Chalo sajna jahaan tak ghata chale….http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bb0UWLDCopw

  • zahu  On October 8, 2010 at 3:26 pm

    so nice…i love it, great work.

    • ldive  On October 19, 2010 at 6:26 pm

      Thank you, Zahu


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