The rains returned a day after I complained about the sun. Torrents of water, flooding the streets, drenching the city and its people that had reconciled itself to an early end of the monsoons. The winds are cool and little birds outside my windows are singing. This is what I missed in Berkeley. A moment like this when the rains warm and full of earth and green has washed over every surface and walking in the rain is like a washing away of sadnesses and fatigue. In Berkeley, I would run out in the rains and return shivering inside. Always a stranger to my own experiences. Here, in moments like this, there is a homecoming, me to myself after more than a decade. Being estranged from warmth, from smells, from experiences, from familiarity, from that which gave meaning, from that which breathed life for me, from that which by its very physical presence meant that I was, that my life was valid, that I meant something in a vast ocean of humanity, that I was alive. What does it do to a person to live without that meaning?
Living in India especially in moments like this during and after the rains, I feel myself uncurling like the tight fist of a new born, like a curled up flower, like a bent spine. Languages of my heart, Bengali and Hindi flow from my mouth here every day. I speak it without thinking, without reflecting how little I was able to use these languages for so long. Now like water the words flow, like they have always been there in the heart, on the tip of my tongue, at the back of my head wanting to trip and fall and pour and run, saying what could not be said or expressed in English, in rains too cold for my body. Meaning. I look for it always.