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Beneath the Drizzle: Rainy Day Reflections

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18 May '24
5 min read


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The rain brought much-needed relief from the relentless heat. For the past week, temperatures had been breaking records, but thankfully, the afternoon showers had finally cooled things down. 

I stood at the entrance of the hotel, where I had just wrapped up a very productive meeting about an exciting new project we were about to start. 

Now, as I watched the drizzle form tiny rivers in front of the road in the hotel, I once again checked the Uber App on my phone. 

The App indicated my ride was approaching, showing a picture of a man named Rajesh as my driver. When the car pulled up, I was surprised to see a woman behind the wheel.

She rolled down the window and smiled warmly. "My husband is not well, so I am driving today. Please don't mind," she explained.

"Not at all," I replied, returning her smile as I climbed into the back seat. "Hope he feels better soon."

"Thank you," she said, adjusting the rear-view mirror. "My name is Anjali, by the way."

As we drove through the rain-slicked streets, I noticed how confidently Anjali maneuvered through the heavy traffic. 

"Do you drive for Uber often?" I asked, curious.

"Not really," she admitted, her eyes focused on the road. "I mostly stay at home. I have small home bakery, where I make things based on orders. But today, with my husband unwell, I decided to step in."

"That's impressive," I said, genuinely admiring her determination. "It must be tough managing both the bakery and this." 

Anjali laughed softly. "It's challenging, yes, but you do what you have to for family, right?"

We drove in silence for a few minutes, the rhythmic sound of the windshield wipers filling the car. I watched the city pass by, thinking about how everyone's life has its unique struggles.

"Do you enjoy baking?" I asked, breaking the silence.

"Oh, I love it," Anjali said, her face lighting up. "Baking is my passion. There's something magical about creating something delicious from simple ingredients. And the joy it brings to people…it's priceless."

Her enthusiasm was contagious and I found myself smiling. "What's your specialty?"

"Cakes," she replied instantly. "Especially birthday cakes. Each one is like a blank canvas and I get to create something beautiful and unique for each customer."

"That sounds wonderful," I said. "It's amazing how you're managing both your bakery and driving today. It must be really hard."

Anjali shrugged modestly. "We all have our battles. My husband and I have faced many struggles in our life, but we've always kept fighting. We dream of a time when our hardships will end and we have never lost hope."

She paused, glancing at me in the rear-view mirror. "My husband helped me set up the home bakery, but it's more than just a business to us—it's a testament to our perseverance and love. Every cake I bake and every customer I serve brings us one step closer to realizing our dreams. Even on days like today, when things don't go as planned, we remind ourselves that each challenge is just another ingredient in the recipe for our success." 

The car came to a halt, the sound of the engine idling punctuated by the steady rhythm of raindrops. In front of us, a line of cars stood motionless, stranded on the waterlogged roads.

“This is the problem here,” Anjali sighed. “A few minutes of rain and all the roads are jammed.”

Caught in the traffic jam, I found my curiosity piqued. “Tell me about your earlier life,” I asked gently, sensing she might be in the mood to share.

Anjali glanced back at me and began her story. She and Rajesh grew up in the same village, their love blossoming amidst the rustic backdrop of rural life. But their path was never smooth.

“Life was hard growing up,” she started, her voice tinged with old pain. “My father was a drunkard who beat my mother almost every night. My elder brother had eloped with the neighbour’s wife, leaving our family shunned and pitied by the villagers.”

Rajesh’s love for Anjali was unwavering, but his family’s refusal to accept her was equally strong, largely due to her father’s reputation. The situation reached a tragic climax, when one night her father’s violent rage resulted in her mother’s death. He was arrested, and in the midst of the chaos, Rajesh brought Anjali to his home, defying his family's wishes.

“When his family refused to accept me, we decided to leave the village and start fresh in the city,” she continued. “Rajesh already worked as a driver, so he found a similar job here. But it was the beginning of another struggle, one that continues to this day.”

Anjali's voice held a quiet strength as she spoke, her words weaving a tale of perseverance and love against all odds. Despite the relentless challenges, they had managed to carve out a life together, building their dreams one step at a time. 

The rain continued to fall, but inside the car, a sense of warmth and hope seemed to grow, a testament to the indomitable spirit of Anjali and Rajesh.

Eventually, we reached my destination. As I gathered my things, I turned to Anjali. "Thank you for sharing your story with me. It's truly inspiring. I hope your husband feels better soon, and I wish you both all the best with your life journey."

"Thank you," Anjali replied, her smile warm and genuine. "It was nice talking to you. Have a great day!"

I stepped out of the car, feeling a renewed sense of positivity. Anjali's story was a reminder of the resilience and strength people possess. Despite the struggles and challenges, there is always room for triumph and joy.

As I walked towards my building, the rain started to ease and a sliver of sunlight peeked through the clouds. It felt like a sign—a promise of better days ahead, no matter how tough things might seem.

Category:Stories


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Written by Arunav Goswami

Author, Analyst, Dreamer & Listener