They say. They have been saying this since she was two. Or was it since she was five? She nods her head and looks down at her arms; arms extending to a perfect set of palms. She stares at those. These palms have held the first drops of every rain that had drenched this land.
Every year when the sun hits its peak and the lands go dry, the cattle heave and the river loses its way in the sand, they all come to her. For they believe that she can see the rain coming. Rain that will wet their dry lands, give life to their cattle, and rhythm to their river. Every year, when they come at her doorsteps praying for rain, she walks out and looks up at the blue sky. Slowly the storm gathers in her eyes, spreads to the sky and then lashes down to the earth. She catches the first drops in her palms, always. Every year. This year, she thinks...cannot be an exception either.
She gets up and slowly walks out of the door. They all stand up. They always do, whenever they see her. A mild whisper spreads in the crowd, ‘She has come out!’, ‘The rain is coming.’, ‘The God has mercy.’
She cannot hear most of it. She cannot see most of them. She walks off further, into the sun. The sun... scathing the earth, scorching the cracked soil, burning the dry leaves. She looks up at it. Storm gathers in her eyes. They can see the storm in her eyes. They cheer, ‘It is going to rain!’
She stretches out her arms and brings her palms together in a perfect cup. She waits. They wait. Along with her, in bated breath. The first drop comes down and settles in her palms. Then the second and the third. She turns back. The sun beats down harder.
She holds out her palms to them. They stare back in surprise. Tears roll down her eyes and gather in her palm. One drop after another. They do not understand. Why is it not raining? They wonder. She cries, she cannot bring down the rain anymore for them. They pause.
Can they bring the rain for her? To wash away some of her tears...?
**To a lady I had met recently, whose tremendous courage built a family.
On a different note, uploaded another set of Ladakh photos. Please click the link below to check. Please do share your comments.