The rains that brought into fore the D/L formula in the last couple of matches against England evoked memories far nearer to home. The scene was that I was to leave to Belgaum for joining on a new assignment. My grandmother who was in town was more worried about the date of leaving since as per her calendar the preceding day was not the auspicious day to leave. My mother was worried about the various goodies that were to travel with me to ensure that I did not miss home. At this point of time, a noble soul, reminded her that Belgaum was a place where torrential rains were the order of the day during the monsoon. Talk of gum boots and raincoats tumbled from everywhere as I was puzzling as to how I would lug the entire luggage. An ancient raincoat which had weathered several storms was pulled out from the attic, dusted and washed. The raincoat was a khaki raincoat of yore and legend had it that it was gifted by my grandfather to my father when he was in his teens. So no question of saying negatives to the family heirloom. This was packed on the top of the briefcase with a nylon rope which was to be used as a clothesline at my destination (Oh! the care they took to see that I would definitely wash myself and my clothes would make one thing that I would have never allowed water to touch me or my clothes but for these gorgeous reminders). Belgaum had its own invitations and after the initial unpacking I had totally put the raincoat in a corner of the cupboard and forgotten about it.
The monsoon set in and on the first day I was held up in the office for over two hours watching pails of water lashing down from the skies. I knew that I would be soaked and waited for it to subside. The next day, very meaningfully, I pulled out the heirloom and lugged the same to the office. The khaki coat which went upto the knees was a heavy duty one unlike the light plastic designer raincoats that children and adults wear now. Colleagues glanced at it quesstioningly. My boss enquired about the age and when I revealed the saga, he revelled in laughter and suggested he would organise festivities for its forthcoming golden jubilee. I soaked myself in all the attention till the rains commenced lashing the city towards the evening. At the stroke of 5:30 p.m., I bid goodbye to all as all of them looked at me. Cloaked in the heirloom, I walked into the rain. Three buildings away stood the lodge and it was a wet raincoat covering drenched person who reached the lodge to the bemusement of the lodgemates. That was the last day I bedecked myself in this powerful robe which weighed me down literally.
Love after all knows no bounds and so does the family heirloom. None at home could be convinced of the futility of donning this robe.