“I find peace in the rain.”

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He was carrying the stack of bricks to the fifth floor, when it began to rain. It was a sudden downpour. Everybody on the construction site halted their jobs for a while. He too, laid down the bricks and walked to the sheltered space on the third floor to join his coworkers.

The sweat on his body was mixed with the pure cascading drops of rain. His friend passed a cigarette around and he took a deep drag. He had turned 17 that year and was struggling to shoulder the responsibility of being the man of the house. He worked as a daily wage laborer on the construction site during the day and a waiter at night. His mother was a maid servant and his younger brother sold those little plastic toys on traffic signals. It was a hard life but they were surviving it and that was all that mattered.

He was 14, when his father, a farmer had been found hanging from the banyan tree next to their house in the village. There had been no rains for the last 2 years and there was no crop. There was no money to feed the family and everything valuable had been sold. His father cried everyday at his helplessness and one fine day decided that his family was better off without him.

Now, every time it rained he thought of his father, of their village and the parched land they called home. He swept away a tear rolling down from his eye. He looked out and wondered how many farmers were getting ready to die today and how many had stopped when it rained like this. How many children had been saved from being orphaned and thrown out into the streets. How many children would now go to school just because their father is not dead. How many would make paper boats and jump into puddles. How many would help in the sowing and how many more would simply dance.

His friend looked at him and asked, “What are you thinking?”

He smiled and said, “I find peace in the rain.”

This post is written in response to the “Daily Post Prompt – Water”. Water

This post is dedicated to all the people of Maharashtra, India facing one of the worst drought situations in modern history. My thoughts and prayers are with you.