It was 35 years ago when I was staying in the city of Dubai. A place where rain is scarce and the temperatures soar above 50 degrees. The atmosphere is dry and you don’t find children playing outside like in India. They are all huddled up at home or at school. As the heat soars even sand storms arise making it impossible to venture outside. The sand rises along with the wind and enters every nook and corner of your house.

In such extreme conditions a monsoon shower or a slight drizzle is a hearty welcome. I remember the time when it rained heavily, suddenly the sky was overcast with black clouds and we could see streaks of lightning along with thunder. The atmosphere became dark and the sun could not be seen, rain poured down as if the heavens were happy and rewarding us. You could find all the children of the apartments in the nearby grounds including myself. Me and my friends got together in the nearby football ground, we were ecstatic to see the rains. We made paper boats, we simply got wet and played about in the rain.

The next day when we went to school our entire school was flooded because the city is not equipped with the drainage system to meet with the heavy rains. Movement from one block to the other was on benches arranged in knee-deep water. We thoroughly enjoyed all the commotion and the holidays we got after rains. It would take around three to four days to clear-up all the water logged on the streets and in the buildings. Big draining machines would come and drain up all the water. The entire episode would last for more than a week after which it was back to the same monotony.

Today when I sit and reminiscence about the past, I wonder at how carefree and innocent we were with no troubles, no tensions, and no worries. A childhood whose only enjoyment was the present time.

Related: Monsoon time with family – a tale of Orissa