Cat In The Rain by Jan Szymczuk.

The Ultimate Guide to Surviving Monsoon in Bangalore

This is a monsoon poem written in a small room,
the windows of which overlook into a street
with a single large tree and buildings on either side;
otherwise, there are shrubs on which two dogs – one brown, one white –
pee every morning, only for the evening rains to wash it away.

This is a monsoon poem,
so expect a lot of
a) puddles
b) pat-pat
c) splashes
d) mud

Sometimes a careless car passes by,
often with a yellow number plate,
and splashes stained water on your clothes;
your shoes shrink; sandals swell;
rubber slippers last in the rain,
but make sure the slipper you are wearing has a fine grip –
you would not want to be slipping around
while jumping between puddles.
If the water gets between your toes, it gets itchy –
wash your feet with water when you reach home.

It is advisable to look at the raindrops falling
in the yellow streetlights on the streets; when it rains,
no buzzy insects fly around the glow of the streetlights;
the yellow light falls on the puddle – glimmering the surface,
making the look tempting like a bowl of faint-brown chocolate soup
which you would devour as a kid, probably.
If you are an adult, avoid jumping into the puddles
or you would be called crazy – the joy, however, is worth it.

You could buy yourself an umbrella –
they come in various colours –
and more –
they even have fine prints on it;
buy an umbrella –
it makes you one with it –
the pattering drops, falling on it,
slanting their way, falling around your feet.

If the walk in the rain is long, stop by a shop –
smoke a cigarette, perhaps, or eat some fries –
straight out of the boiling oil – crispy.
If there is a public drinking house around and you would,
but the least,
mind getting intoxicated,
understand that its doorways are open for you –
rum or whiskey –
two drinks keep the flame alive in the dampness of monsoon.

Did I mention not folding the end of your trousers or jeans?
Oh, do that – it shall make it last another year, especially jeans –
the older and more ragged it gets, the more personality it beholds.

If you are at home, find your way to the kitchen and brew a cup of tea.
George Orwell wrote a little essay on brewing tea;
when the tea is brewed, carefully pour it into a substantially large mug
and place it by the side of your bed;
you could get under the sheets, perhaps hold a book in your lap,
and read.

If you have a puppy or a kitten, or a dog or a cat,
or any other living being (not human) in your home,
snuggle with them and share the warmth –
warmth and intimacy are soul-charging, and they eliminate toxic thoughts –
thoughts which potentially lead to you drowning in them –
quite hard to stay on the surface.
If you have a partner, you could call them over,
perhaps share your tea,
smoke together,
or talk,
or cook,
or make love –
making love in the rain has its own charms,
but let the sound of orgasm burry the patter of raindrops.

And when the sky’s anguish drips to its last drops,
draw open the curtains,
and let the fresh, cool air flow into the room,
light a cigarette, perhaps,
or stare joyfully in oblivion;
continue living in anticipation of another rain,
and when it comes,
you know what to do.


Art by Jan Szymczuk
A Nice Cup of Tea by George Orwell


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