Rains always brought me happiness. Love to hear the thundering in the sky when it rains like there is no tomorrow. Love it, when I get to hug myself against the cold air and the heavy downpour. It brings me closer to myself.

But today it was different. The car would take me only till the gate. I knew I had to climb up those steep steps uphill to reach home. It was raining heavily and Meenakshi was getting restless in my arms. She began to cry loud. Closed areas suffocated my little one, especially the car. I knew the reason and hence I decided to take the risk and walk it through the rains. The driver brought me the umbrella to the backseat. I managed to scramble out of the car, covering my little one with the end of my sari. She found it amusing and her smile took over her sobs. She began to play with the rains. Just like me, she loved the rains too. May be that’s what bonds us together – the love for rains. She splashed water on my cheeks and kissed them away with her little lips as she kept murmuring to herself –“mmm”, “mmm”. I wondered what she wanted to say, I wondered what’s in her mind. Meenakshi has always been a happy kid. But today she seemed to be ‘differently’ happy. She was giving me playful, naughty looks as though there was something she is holding back. I knew I might be reading too much into a child’s mind. But I knew her. She surprises me every day.

I was completely drenched by the time I reached home. Her grandfather and grandmother were sitting in the verandah waiting for their bundle of joy. They reached out to her. Unlike always she refused to go to them and clung on to me. I wanted her to go to them and not cling on to me since I was drenched. I was angry at her but at the same time happy deep inside. She didn’t want to leave me; she was accepting me as her mother – the mother who never gave birth to her.

May be nothing has changed – this time too, the rains brought me happiness. It gave me Meenakshi. I hugged Meenakshi against the cold air and the heavy downpour. It brought me closer to myself.

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