01 January 1970

Memories Of Rain In A Creaking Hillside Cottage

The author recalls a time when she was inside a hillside cottage with the rain falling outside in sheets, much like in Delhi these past few days.

A rain-soaked memory
A rain-soaked memory Getty (Image for representation)

Rain fell in sheets turning the window into a never ending cascade as thunder rolled over the hills. The cottage felt its years as its old bones bent under the weight of the storm, and it settled in deeper into the hillside, anchoring itself further so as not to slip into the valley below. 

Wooden shutters warped with age creaked and shook with each gust of wind. Warmed and cooled by the summers and winters they no longer shut completely and through the gaps between the slats, the chill crept in unannounced. Susurrous and crafty, seeking out an uncovered neck here, fingers resting on a book there, gleefully raising goosebumps and shivers as it moved from room to room.

The stream below the garden swept small rocks and broken branches downstream as it hurried to catch up with the wind blowing south. Rushes bent under the weight of raindrops bowing their velvet water-soaked heads in obeisance to the unseasonal winter storm. 

Down in the valley the thunderous roar of the waterfall, released from its usual gentleness, showed its true colours as it splashed and bounced off the boulders below, raising a cloud of mist so fine its gossamer edges lace-like hung in the air like the veil of a shy maiden caught in the moment of surprise as it lifted off her glowing face raised to the sky.