What brings on a bout of nostalgia the fastest?
Sometimes, it is the sight of a train.
Strains of old songs, heard not seen. Over the static of radio.
Smells of flowers. Everyone has their own favourite.
But mostly, it is rain.
Something about the slanted trails of water on the window panes. Something about the smell of damp earth. Something about the running a hand through wet hair. Something about the whiff of hot samosa with a tangy chutney. Each one of these is such a wonderfully alive sensation that it overpowers all the five senses simultaneously.
And memories come in a rush.
Of the Naughty Boy shoes getting all wet as the knee-length PT socks clinging to the skin. And there were puddles all the way home. Unavoidable.
Of the fights in the school bus to get the corner seat, so that you can sit with your back to the window and feel the drizzle on the collar.
Of Mrs Nandi, in her damp saree and slightly smudged kohl, folding her umbrella on the main staircase.
Of organising an impromptu football match after bunking a lab period. And having more fun skidding in the mud than actually kicking the ball.
Of not going to office during the summer internship and sitting on the balustrade of Marine Drive, waiting for a jumbo wave to drench you completely.
Of walking through a spice plantation in Thekkady and being unable to decide the better smell. The Nivea cream next to you. Or the cinnamon in the air.
Of zipping down a highway as the sound of the raindrops rise to a crescendo, beating a mesmerising rhythm on the windshield and the wiper.
Of lounging around the couch with some onion fries. With the stereo playing Mera Kuch Samaan...
As Gulzar saab would say, "Ek akeli chhatri mein jab aadhe aadhe bheeg rahe the... Gila man shaayad bistar ke paas pada hain..."