Rain on Holiday

I was alone at the beach yesterday after dinner. The sunbathers of the afternoon had left, probably to contribute to Phuket’s vibrant nightlife. The guidebooks mention shows that start at 01:30AM! I cannot be out of bed after eleven, and from ten to eleven I have to lie in bed and read, in Phuket or in Paradise. At the beach, rain-clouds had formed over the sea, while over land the sky was clear and the stars were out. A strong breeze pushed but rooted me to the sand, rejuvenating me and renewing a bond with the sea, from which I have been away for so long.

The sunbathers are true Sun-worshippers. Back home, our homage to Him is paid in the gentle dawn with mantras, and by a very few. The rest of us would rather be in shade and most of us don’t know the mantras. These people lay in blistering heat, offering up their UV-filtered flesh. There were so many of them, lying on white sand on unsheltered stretches away from plentiful tall trees that curtained the glittering sea from the lagoon. If they had read my thoughts they would’ve been aghast:

I was standing there praying for rain; for plenty of rain; for so much rain that it would drench this roasting place to the coolness of Bangalore from where I have come. And I stood after dinner alone on the beach fretting that there was cloud over sea and not over land. I returned to my room, wondering whether I can manage the heat on marathon-Sunday. I shut the door and heard water pouring down the tiles in the balcony. I ran there: It was raining, hard.

Again this afternoon, in the restaurant by the lagoon, after an engrossing lunch of rice with thai-green-curry, I looked up. The music had gone from Judy Garland to Norah Jones. The lagoon had changed from a sun-drenched blaze to a rain-battered gray.