The rain comes down in neelabucketloads when you start walking off the tarred road, onto the one cutting through the erstwhile paddyfields. “Meanwhile, beenwhile.” You conceal the awkwardness of an ill-timed laughter under the chatter of raindrops on the half-open umbrella. The drops criss-cross when you are in the middle of the fields. An open umbrella will keep only the Johnskuda girl dry in rains anywhere off the main road. Then you realise there is no one to hide it from; an ‘unexpected’ rain drives even the casual anglers inside the buswaitingshed that says KariyathanKavu Boyz in blue blackletter on yellow sun-pack. A red-collared dog runs for cover into the buswaitingshed that says KariyathanKavu Boyz in blue blackletter. You imagine a toothbrush moustached gentleman in blue check lungi hunching over the sign with blue paint and wonder if the dog was the same one that chased Dianan (the stray cat was renamed so after she was discovered to be a he) through the backyard the other day. Then you are slowed down as the mud from the erstwhile paddyfield sticks the soles of your Hawai chappals onto the road. You realise it is the rain that keeps you bound. The thought makes you sad. It makes you want to run away, but you know the Hawai chappals would make it impossibly messy.