Going to the ATM

In the rain again. I wait for the heavy rain to pass, but drops still fly and hit me as I drive on the scooter. The ATM is in a town about half an hour away.

The rain, I am almost cold. Hills of cashew trees, the rice paddies are filled with water again! Two guys stop on their motorcycle to pick up a third guy, a man with an earring walks down the street with bare feet in red mud. I'd guess he is from Rajasthan, this must feel very different from his desert.

The rain, every thing is green, growing, and reaching. A busload of people disembark, I weave my way around them, an old lady with a cotton sari wound arround her middle waves at me irritably to get me to stop. I was already stopping.

Water buffalo in the road, even a baby buffalo, I am really soaking now, cold, there's no doubt about it, smiling, singing. Another traveler goes by in the opposite direction, mimes shivering in the brief moment I see him, his friend behind him grins at me. Comrades in rain.

These late rains, everything green and reaching, everything wet, lakes of mud. An arc of pee from a man on the side of the road, sorry, I mutter, I looked before I knew not to look. The bridge and a decorated cow led by a man, followed by another man carrying a gigantic knife-sharpener. I wonder if they will split up, or sharpen knives and allow people to look at their holy cow in tandem. Familiar curves and bumps, careful on the wet road, at the ATM I shiver in the air conditioning.

I leave with money.

Back on the bridge crossing the river the sun has come out for the last bit of day, brightening the coconut trees with the dark sky behind them, the large, blank face of the sky still hurling rain, I am driving and driving and driving.

(Sheryl asked what Diwali is like here. It's very muted where I am. I know that in other parts of the country Diwali is bright and expansive, enveloping everything. My friends in the North could tell a different story about Diwali.

Our village is divided into Catholic and Hindu sections- in the Hindu sections the houses are lit with twinkle lights and big paper lanterns. Driving through the surrounding villages there are many cars parked and many people walking to get to the temple for Diwali services.

I know where my friends live there are lights on the Ganga, many many people. Here we have fireworks and twinkle lights. The houses look lovely.)