Stuck On

I’m singing in the rain
Just singing in the rain
What a glorious feelin’
I’m happy again’

Now where did I hear that?
Whoever sang that definitely didn’t know what he was talking about!
And if you meet him, please send him to New York next February when it’s pouring cats and dogs, while it is freezing cold! And yes, how could i forget the snow! Rain and snow, what a mix! He should definitely visit New York…

Well let me begin at the very beginning. That morning, I got out the wrong side of the bed! As always, I stretched myself as I roused from slumber. Mechanically moved my legs towards the floor and SLAM-DUNK, I hit the wall. Hey, I’d forgotten that I’d moved the furniture around the previous night. It happens. It happens to all mortals and that morning it happened to me. Anyway, so that morning I had to get out the wrong side of the bed!

“Good morning Sunshine!” Exclaimed the new co-host on NBC, as I switched on the T.V. for the early morning news. “And now for the weather forecast; Moist and chilly…..”
And on that note, after a quick hot shower and a cup of coffee I dashed out of my apartment, my umbrella in my hand.

Now there’s something about my umbrella that I need to tell you. It is my lucky umbrella, my blue umbrella with the white dots and the crooked handle! I had this umbrella with me when I went to the university to get my B.E. results.
‘First class with Distinction’, that’s what the scorecard had said.
I had this umbrella with me when I went for my first job interview.
“Congratulations, Mr Badal, you are hired.”

I still remember that moment, my umbrella in my hand.
It’s no wonder that I am stuck on my blue umbrella, right?

By the way, the umbrella once belonged to my first girlfriend, my first crush. Stupid misunderstands, harsh words and she was gone, leaving the blue umbrella behind. Those days are yesterday. Today, I am in the States, of course with the blue umbrella in my hand! The pressure cooker I got from home no longer whistles, the blanket which I got is too thin, the alarm clock…well I’d rather not comment on it. But my umbrella has been with me through thick and thin, come rain or sunshine! Come hail or storm. No wonder I am stuck on my blue umbrella!

I waited for the train, the 7:51 from Metropark station to New York, the usual.

“The 7:51 train to New York is operating 5 to 10 minutes late. We apologize for the inconvenience.” I heard the announcement, the usual.
I clutched my umbrella tighter and tightened the hood of my coat. The train arrived at last and we all scrambled in, fighting to get a seat.

“Hey you, let go of my coat!” Someone screamed.

“You mannerless creature! Watch where you are stepping!”

I huffed and puffed onto the train. I huffed and puffed and squeezed into the nearest vacant seat. I was all cozy and comfortable. Then why did I have the uncomfortable feeling? Why the nagging? Was I missing something?  Oh no! I was missing my umbrella, my lucky umbrella! In the commotion, I had lost my blue umbrella with the white dots and the crooked handle. My companion, my best friend – especially that day, how could I have lost it? I looked here and there. I searched high and low, as much as I could, given the fact that I couldn’t lose my seat too!

“Excuse me!” exclaimed the lass sitting next to me.

Returning her disgusted look, I gave up my search. It was probably useless. My poor umbrella was probably lying somewhere on the platform, all broken and wet. Of course I felt miserable.  I felt wretched!

Well, that’s life. I had to go on….with or without my umbrella.

I closed my eyes to catch a few winks. I dreamt about my umbrella, me and my blue umbrella with the white dots and the crooked handle. Suddenly something poked my leg. Alarmed, I looked down. It was the tip of an umbrella. The tip of a very long umbrella indeed! It probably belonged to the fellow sitting behind me. I gave it a push. I turned around a bit to give the fellow the look. I got the look from the girl next-seat instead. I turned back and went back to sleep, dreaming.

“This station stop is New York.”

I heard  the announcement, as I woke up with a start. The umbrella poked at me yet again. I turned back yet again. There was nobody behind me. I glanced out, it was still pouring. Practicality took over. Survival took over. Ignoring the girl’s’ looks I picked up the umbrella.

“Excuse me Sir, that’s my umbrella you’ve got there.” I heard someone scream loudly.
Embarrassed, I muttered an apology and returned the umbrella to its rightful owner. I tried to avoid my friendly neighbor’s indignant face. I scrambled out of the train, I didn’t care that I almost stepped on the girl’s foot in the process. Well, anything to get off the train, anything to get away from her!

I scurried out of Penn Station; hastened to the Starbuck’s on 34th and 8th. I was all wet. Oh how I missed my blue umbrella! Shivering, a cappuccino in my hand, I made myself cozy at the table in the corner; the one next to the fireplace. A shadow fell over me. I glanced up.

“Excuse me, can I join you? All the other chairs are taken.”

It was the same girl, the girl from the train.

There was a smirk on my face, a wide grin. And it was wiped off the moment I glanced at the contents in her bag. Tucked in a corner in a transparent plastic bag was a blue umbrella with white dots. It had a crooked handle. Yes, I was sure it had a crooked handle!

“Oh sure, yes.”

I got up and pulled the chair opposite mine. I was the perfect gentleman. I tried to snatch a glance at the umbrella. The lady assumed her position. We exchanged smiles, then a few words. A few more words later, we promised to meet for lunch. We meet again the next morning; yet again the next and the next. One thing lead to another and we exchanged phone numbers. Days passed by, probably even months. We started meeting regularly. And one rainy day, the umbrella protecting us from the havoc, one of us proposed. Probably it was me. Yes, it was definitely me. Well, I had no choice. I had to, for the sake of my blue umbrella! I had  to get back my umbrella with the white dots and the crooked handle. My lucky umbrella, my best friend!

‘I’m gonna love you like nobody’s loved you
Come rain or come shine
High as a mountain and deep as a river
Come rain or come shine’



3 thoughts on “Stuck On

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