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Before Rain by Nikita Biswal

Art by Kawase Hasui

Love reminds me of the wind before it rains. A fresh breeze wafting in through the gap under the door, through my toes, through my hair.

The rain is beautiful, isn’t it? I love the smell of wet mud. It’s like a song you continue to hum long after it’s over. Rain falls carelessly and completely, drenching the trees, the houses, the bridges humans made to walk over water.

Sometimes when there’s a storm, it brings power-cuts. As the lights go out, everyone in my house slowly comes together. We spread around the uncarpeted living room. I like sitting on the floor, where the marble is cold under my thighs. We go around telling stories, interrupting, answering questions, laughing, naming cities we still haven’t visited. Then the lights come on and everyone finds something to do.

When I think of July, I imagine standing in the balcony as the hot afternoon dissolves into a coolness, maybe even a power-cut as we lay the table for dinner. I open the doors and let it fill my home. The chalk-white branches of eucalyptus dance. The sky is iridescent silks of grey and blue dupattas. I watch the traffic roll along the street and imagine the city as if it was made of carousel cars. The world is so quiet if you listen closely, there is only wind.

I feel the first drop of rain falling on my face and vanishing. I think it might rain.

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