It had been raining for the last five or six days. Roads were flooded in many parts. There was water and water everywhere, in Malabar.
I was on my journey from the university to my home. It was raining heavily. And I was loving it. The road was flooded and water rushed everywhere, when the bus crossed the road. Water turned around, foamed, changed its colour, and pushed into the nearby courtyards and verandas of houses nearby. More and more water deluged into the road, as the bus moved past, swaying and slow, like a canoe through a disturbed sea.
I was in a very 'creative' mood. Each and every drop sprinkling on my face through the pores of the water covers of the bus, filled me with a divine spirit, as if being touched and felt by the supreme Being, the Almighty, God; an eternal referential, a language, and a truth.
When I reached home, it was almost dark. My mother was waiting in the veranda, for me, which was unusual. After asking some usual questions, like where were you this long and why, she confessed that she was upset and shaken.
"Don't you remember Mashood, the last year twelfth passed, he drowned, today."-And she sank into the sofa.
"Dead!"-I turned to her in shock.
"Yes. He was said to be playing in the nearby paddy fields with some kids, and there was water neck deep. He was caught into a trench, amidst the field."
"Didn't he know how to swim?"- I was in a bewilderment.
"No, he didn't. They were small kids, with him, and could not save him."-Mom was almost exhausted by the weight of the pain that she was enduring.
She owned a school. Mashood was one among the previous year's batch of twelfth standard students. I too had taught there, and he was one of my best students.
For a teacher, his students are his wealth, power and pride. And I lost my wealth, my power and my pride. For especially, it is the case with Mshood, that was a loss. He was a good student, one that fits apt for the title of "ideal". He was good at studies and was equally good at games. He had those powerful arms of which I used to feel proud. He was tall, and had height almost equal to me. I think, six feet.
I imagined, him inside the water. My student, my child, struggling to push himself up, on to the surface, pulling out his legs from the clutching mud in the trench; struggling his last moments to get his breath, and nostrils getting filled with water; realising in the fraction of a second that something is happening--a change;a transformation, from one form of existence to another, which no one in their biologically alive body has not yet experienced.
He will be understood only through a different language now, like the language of rain...or of God.
I dedicate this article to the loving memory of my dear student Mashood...
May God bless his life to be a successful and satisfied one.
May his soul rest in peace.