Come September

I exit the gates of the building and walk to my scooter in the gentle drizzle. The two-wheeler parking lot has been so thoughtfully shifted to the middle of nowhere by the college authorities. There is no point in complaining to selectively deaf ears. It is always the same story. The ones in cars always have the luxury of being dropped right at the doorsteps by their drivers. While the insignificant scooter wallahs are the nobodys who have to walk, either through blazing sun or pouring rain. So much for being considerate.

By the time I find my scooter in that maze of similar looking vehicles, extract my raincoat and wear it, the rain has turned into a downpour and I am drenched. It is a five minute drive home but today it takes longer as the rain has clogged the solitary street. I’m trying to figure out the potholes from memory and swerve my scooter accordingly. A huge splash from a red state transport bus from across the divider hits me. Saved by my raincoat- I think. How wrong I was. When I reach home I find that my salwar is completely soaked. I have to do that Abhishek Bachchan penguin walk from Manmarziyaan to reach the bathroom and change.

September is such a strange month. Whimsical. Only two days ago we felt like the sultry summer was back. Air-conditioners were recommissioned into service. And today there is this beautiful music of pouring rain outside my windows. Thunder and lightning add the extra pizzazz to nature’s orchestra.

All this reminds me of the wonderful strains of the theme song of that movie ‘Come September‘ and a strange tale. Music which spawned many avatars in the Indian film industry: Nazrein mili dil dhadka (Madhuri Dixit in Raja), Dole dole (Aamir Khan in Baazi), and Vandhal ennodu (Jayalalithaa in Naan). The music was very popular in the seventies. Remember, those were days of LP records, not cassettes or CDs. One of our teachers choreographed a dance for us school girls on that music. To train little school girls is no mean feat. She made us practise and practise till we got it right.  The LP record played again and again for hours till the music was stuck in our heads. On the D-day, we were dolled up in orange sarees refashioned into gowns. Our hair was done up into high buns. We all took our places on stage neatly in two rows on either side of the stage. We held golden paper fans in our little hands as props. The music started, did a sort of lurch and stopped. And again. And again. The LP record was stuck! Still in the third or fourth standard, we girls were confused and stared vacantly into that dark space beyond which housed the audience. Our teacher tried again, but nothing happened. She ushered us off stage. We were given another chance after two other items. Again same story. The stupid LP record got stuck after every few seconds. We returned teary-eyed that day. What a disaster after all that practice!  September had been whimsical again!

Stuck LP records remind me of people who forward posts without thinking- to score brownie points. Wish they would see how they are stuck somewhere too, where they are losing precious sense and sensitivity. Perhaps an unexpected September downpour will cleanse the cobwebs that have encircled their hearts, and they will rediscover their music.

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