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unEXPRESSed - Monsoon Melodies

Updated: Sep 19, 2023

It was the month of July. Meaning that it will rain cats and dogs at all times in Mumbai. One morning, I was holding on to my umbrella tightly and walking to my college. As I was trying hard not to get drenched, I heard some melody playing in a low voice. I turned around and saw a tea stall. A closer look revealed on old radio besides the tea seller. I walked inside the shop and ordered myself a masala chai. The radio was now playing one of my favorite Kishore Kumar hits “Rim jhim gire sawan". Looking around I saw an aged couple sharing a single umbrella walking into the same shop as me. They sat just in front of me and asked the tea seller to increase the volume of the radio. Not to sound creepy but I heard bits and pieces of their conversation that said that this

way their favourite song too. Which got me thinking that rim jhim gire sawan was the background music to so many of their memorable moments. The elderly man then proceeded to unwrap a peepal leaf which then revealed a string of jasmine flowers woven together. He then placed those on the women's braid. I couldn't help but smile from ear to ear at this wholesome sight. Just a moment later, a mother-son duo walked inside the shop. The kid would have been little over 4 years of age. They were seated on the chairs behind me and naturally I was able to hear them talk too. The kid narrated the poem "Pitter patter raindrops" and the mother was very happy hearing it and so was I. It reminded me of all the times I used to recite this same poem in a sweet melody infront of my teachers and parents. While sipping my tea, I noticed the way raindrops fell and made a distinct sound on different surfaces. The vehicles, footsteps, the splash, whoosh and pitter patter were in such harmony that it almost felt as if it was all carefully planned. My eyes dropped on my phone and I realised that it is almost time for my first lecture to begin. I hurriedly finished my tea, paid the teaseller in compliments and cash, looked at the other customers adoringly but stopped realizing I don't want to look scary. The rain had stopped by then and I observed how monsoons are etched in our memories along with some songs, poem and sounds. The melodies made the season even more special. I ran towards my college as the radio played, "ek ladki bheegi bhangi si....."

.......Winner un EXPRESS ed : Prajakta Prakash Patil

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