I saw Diya (my niece) the other day proudly flaunting her brand-new umbrella. Blue in color, the canopy had fanciful decorations that amply captured the imagination of the little lady. The metallic stem added to its beauty. Diya had been wanting an umbrella for long and her parents finally gave in to her constant tantrums.
It was a fine morning with rain-barren clouds enveloping the sky, leaving little prospects of the Sun managing to peep through it. Obviously, an open umbrella was a misfit and had no business being there. Yet, there she was, Diya beaming with pride as she showed off her latest booty to everyone without a care in the world. I found it amusing and my mind instantly raced back in time to the halcyon years of my childhood when I too had an umbrella that meant the world to me.
I mustn't have been much older than Diya. I had a second-hand umbrella today's kids wouldn't dare or care to flaunt. It was vanilla-red with a wooden stem. Though there was nothing alluring about the contraption for most, we were almost inseparable. It originally belonged to didi and had been passed on to me, although I can't recall anything anecdotal about the transfer of ownership. Didi was too generous & I guess she didn't really mind donating it to me. She must have had other things on her list of priorities. May I add that the umbrella in question was perhaps the only possession I shared a multiple-night stand with, in stark contrast to an idiosyncrasy.
What absolutely enthralled me was the experience of standing out in the rain under my beloved umbrella. So possessed was I that I would go to the verandah with my umbrella and stand in the region that wasn't shielded from the rain. While all would beat a hasty retreat into the safety of their homes, I would proudly go the other way and proudly stand in the rain under the unfurled umbrella. The experience was quite simply inexplicable and I remained ecstatic during those ephemeral but precious moments, totally in harmony with my surroundings with not a soul in sight. The feeling of proudly holding out against the raindrops furiously lashing against my canopy while I tightly gripped the stem was exhilarating. My parents were resigned to the oddity that was me and never stopped me from such escapades.
I wonder what became of my red umbrella. Must have been claimed by mother Nature.
(I had been meaning to write this article a long time back. As usual, procrastination got the better of me!)