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Last evening while our flight landed a gentle rain was falling. No uproar, no lashings, no fuss of any sort, just silently pitter-pattering teeny-weeny drops of water. I loved the welcome.

As the cab drove out of the airport and turned right to take the beach road to circle the airport, I could see the many lights far out in the sea. It is impossible to believe that the lights are from the fishing boats out at sea. To someone new it will definitely seem like there is a city out there on the other side of the water. Heck, even I who knew there was no land as far as eye could see found it difficult to believe otherwise.

As we drove on, the rain intensified. Staring at city scenes through rain-splattered glass windows of the cab is a pastime I adore. Everything, even the drabbest shop fronts, derelict buildings and even corners heaped with rubbish are mysteriously transferred into magical places in the wet darkness. The muted by rain neon lights, the blinking stop-lights of the cars in front and street lamps only add to the effect.

By the time I reached home the rain graciously withdrew. ‘You probably need to go for your after dinner walk, I do not want be a hinderance!’ I imagined the rain telling me. ‘No, no, no!’ I said in my head. ‘I am too tired today. I am in no mood to walk. Please come back!’ But the rain had left.

Today the sky has remained overcast throughout but for a brief few minutes of dazzling sunlight. It was as if the sun made a brief entrance to show it was still the boss. ‘Don’t you people forget the fact. And what’s more, I will be back!’ For a minute there I imagined the sun speaking in Suresh Gopi’s voice. For those who do not know who that is, Suresh Gopi is a Malayalam cine actor who made famous lines like ‘Ormayundo ee mukham?’ (Do you remember this face) delivered in his characteristic caustic tone making the bad people tremble inside.

No. I am not a Suresh Gopi fan. Nor am I a Mohanlal fan or a Mammooty fan. They are all Malayalam movie stalwarts. But I do like some of the roles each of them have done in movies. The same goes for the younger lot too many of whom are very talented. That’s as far as I am prepared to go when it comes to movie idols. Not for me any kind of fan hysteria or declaring of undying loyalty to any one single actor. No one is put on a pedestal to be worshipped and no one is that important and no one will ever be.

© Shail Mohan 2023