Mud-Splattered Nirvana

Our relationship with the rains is completely schizoid. While we want it to rain, so that there is enough water throughout the year, we get really stressed and irritated when it rains on our way to work or when we are traveling to keep an appointment, or basically at anytime during the workweek. And yet it was not always like this.
One of the simple pleasures we had, when we were kids, was playing football in the rains. My school has the largest playground in Mumbai and there was ample opportunity to play virtually any game before or after school hours.
During the rains, the football grounds would get so soggy and soft that each time our feet hit the brown mud, wet clumps would fly and stick to our shoes, socks, legs and eventually, shorts and shirt. By the time we were done with our play, we would be completely mud-soaked, some of us even sporting brown hair, especially if we had fallen down at any time. We would then proudly trudge home, wait outside the door, remove our socks, shoes and shirt and only then be allowed to cross the threshold while gingerly holding in one hand, our dirty shoes, which would promptly go into a bucket in the bathroom, where both the shoes and our bodies would get a good dunking. Most of us would have been ideal candidates for Surf Excel or Rin ads.
Once we were done with school, playing football in the mud pretty much stopped. And as we grew up and made our way through college and then started working, the rains went from being fun to being irritating, something to avoid rather than to revel in.
Until three days ago.
I was running in school, in the evening, in an attempt to stay fit. It had been raining a bit in the morning, but the skies were clear when I started. A few minutes into the run however, dark clouds suddenly gathered over the ground, and a few raindrops started falling.
I continued to run, as did many others.
And then the heavens opened up and the clouds burst and the rain pelted down fast and furious. Within no time I was completely drenched. My spectacle lenses were swimming in large pools of water and I could barely see a couple of feet ahead. Luckily I know my running route inside out and so I focused on my stride, trying to make sure that I wouldn’t fall, especially over the thin film of slippery water that often covers concrete surfaces.
Part of my route is along the edge of the football grounds. The moment I stepped on the mud, my shoes went splutch and squelch, splutch and squelch, with mud flying in all directions, cloaking my Nike Airs, splattering my socks and sticking to the back of my legs. I am now much taller than I was as a school-kid and luckily the rest of my upper body was spared.
Soon though, the shoes became wet and heavy and I could feel my socks turn pulpy. My T-shirt seemed to have gained a couple of kilos and was sticking to my ungainly chest. My hair was a fountainhead. The rain refused to relent and after a while, it just became too difficult to fight the pouring sheets of water and the accompanying wind and I finally stopped.
I walked home in the rain, on top of the world, without an umbrella or raincoat, devoid of any care in those brief moments.

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