Few droplets fell on windscreen, as my cab climbed Naraina Flyover and when I looked out the window, all I could see on the horizon were dark clouds. I made the mistake of not checking the sky before booking my cab, worse still; since I booked a shared cab, I couldn’t change the destination.
Droplets turned into drizzle as we descend from the flyover and as we reach Brar Square, a steady downpour has begun. Today I am not looking at the screen of my mobile phone; I had made a mental note, not to do that. After all, a guy who used to continuously stare out of the window, no matter how long the journey, had become another one of the smartphone slaves, who must constantly fiddle with the touch screen.
Those on motorcycles and scooters are parking by the roadside, in search of cover; waiting for rain to abate, while a handful of riders continue with their journey. I used to be amongst the few, who never stopped, no matter how hard the rain got and I never had any rain suit. Sitting in a cab, completely dry, I sort of miss that. But nothing really has changed; I have already done that this year for several hundred kilometers during couple of my rides. So mind justifies the comfort I am in at the moment.
As we approach San Martin Marg, rain comes down harsh. There is no way I will be able to sit at the outdoor Taj CCD and read a book or even enjoy a cup of coffee, worse still, I am wearing leather monks and the less than couple of month old shoes have been drenched more than half a dozen times already and these are favorite as well as one of the most expensive shoes I own!
As we stop at Taj Palace entrance, I wonder what to do next. Should I keep sitting in the cab, and try and book again, hoping I am able to book this cab itself or should I go inside to book or wait by the roadside, waiting for another cab to arrive?
I walk towards Taj CCD and the step before that is completely submerged. I pause. I could try and jump, in hopes of clearing the water or I could stand by the road, and book another cab, at least that way my shoes will be comparatively dryer.
I walk through water, shoes completely drenched.
Now that the fear of ruing shoes is over, I am not going anywhere. Even if I have to stand here and do nothing at all.
The roof, under which I am seeking shelter, is leaking a bit. Sagar is busy serving orders; he is the only one doing that. He actually seems to be enjoying that, while rest of the staff hides inside or under the roof. This is what I like about him, he always seems cheerful and ready to work, even when he had injury on his feet, he was continuously working.
I ask him to find me a seat; it seems only the large common tables with shade over them are somewhat immune to rain. A guy gets up and leaves and I take over his seat. With my man bag occupying the seat I want, I go to the counter inside and place my order, Café Frappe. Cold coffee on a rain day somehow seems more appropriate than a hot one.
I come back to my seat. It isn’t completely immune to the rain, few droplets are falling on me and the table in front is completely drenched. I forget about the book and writing, and enjoy the rain. After all, as interesting as Rain in the Mountains is, it is no match for even real Delhi rain, especially with cooler adding to effect.
I still miss the mountain rain; I hope it will be there, when I resume Search for the Unknown in a few days and head back to mountains.
But still, this is quite fun. And as light fades and rain begins to slowdown, I open Rain in the Mountain and start reading. This will do, till my next trip, this will certainly do.