People on the road stare at me when I do a Raj Kapoor with my new found umbrella. My brolly is solemn black with a passion red strip bordering its circumference. As an onlooker you see me treating it offhandedly, but what I do is I just keep my umbrella up and awake by putting its feet on the ground with a plod sound and shaking its entire body up so that it remains service-ready. You never know when the sky can turn grey and ungracious.
The other day I was standing in front of McDonald’s. Its giant glass door caught my attention and the next second I was staring at my partly drenched figure and the slightly overworked umbrella clinging on to my side pocket. In the middle of the rigmarole, I was staring at a scene taken straight from the Bollywood script (Hollywood would have been far-fetched) – a guy waiting earnestly for his partner on a rainy day to take her around. Imagination, you see. It can attack you even in the least convenient time.
I carry this portable roof with me not because it triggers my imagination, but it also gives me silent company when I walk alone. You know how it feels to have someone by your side, and especially when that someone reminds a bereaved son of his father and his animated walk holding it as a prop.
At the end of the day, I hang it on the top edge of the shoe rack. Safely.