A smile beamed across his face as he surveyed the dark sky; he whispered to his fellow third graders, “It’s going to rain”. Even before they could react, he picked up his battered notebooks from the ground and climbed over the school’s mud fence. He felt a sudden cold breeze on his face; the rain was coming and he had to reach home before it did.
He pulled out a few marbles from his faded navy blue trouser pocket and made sure the big one with the yellow streak was there. Holding his books close to his chest and clutching his trouser pocket containing the marbles, he jumped off the mud fence and dashed towards the rice field. Balancing himself with one hand, he crossed the field over a narrow path while the rice plants danced to the tune of the strong breeze. By the time he reached the banyan tree just outside the rice field, a heavy wind had started to blow away leaves and the tree rained down ripe fruits like heavy pellets.
He reached a long dusty road and saw his house on the other end. His small feet kicked up dust as he raced towards the house. He heard the rain, like a swarm of bees, getting closer and felt the air getting heavier with moisture. He turned back to see the dusty road changing color to dark brown as the rain splashed on it, racing towards him. He ran as fast as he could while the trees on either side swayed violently, as if cheering him
He leapt over the steps leading to his house followed by the thundering sound of the rain hitting the clay tiled roof. He fell on his knees trying to catch his breath, the sweet smell of earth filled his lungs and he felt it flow throughout his body.
Twenty years have passed since that mid-summer deluge, but the sight of the rain chasing him down the dusty road, the sound of it pelting on the roof and the sweet smell of earth it brought will remain locked in his heart forever.