There was never a longing for sun in Chennai as it is now. It has been a week, sun is held back by the thick clouds that look menacingly towards the earth. I still remember those days when sun would enquiringly peep above the horizon, searchingly shed light on the edge of my table cloth, paint it yellow and pale. Light smoothly slides over, finds a coffee mug or some such object, and glides over it (for the morning light is still weightless); reaches the end of the table, swoops over the edge, and floats on the floor much as a reptile with no legs. The light now passes over a spoon lying on the floor and swathes it crimson gold; now reaches the end and crawls up the wall, above and above it climbs until the wall is flushed yellow.
Must be a cold morning breeze, for the leaves of the tree beside my room gently tap against the window. Slowly the light grows in intensity, now it has gained some weight, it slips from the surface of objects to explore their bodies and uncovers them one after another. Light explores the objects that are submerged in darkness and brings them to life, lifts them out, much as an explorer underwater pulls one out of water; gives form to the table, spoon, floor and the wall. Gradually the objects are rid of their golden colour, now they are firm, inelegant and exuding raw energy. Some glisten as if they find sun inhospitable; others merely stand alive and naked in the sun.
As the sun ascends higher and higher, the light on my bedroom wall slips as if sun is pulling it back; I watch as the light desperately clings on to my spoon here, and table there, I still watch aghast as the last pools of light resting on the curtains by the window part. And the sun was gone.
That was last week, and since then it has been raining here in Chennai. Classes as usual, but the students have reserved themselves with playing football indoors; from upstairs one can see students leaving the canteen covered with umbrellas. The progress of construction of guest rooms inside the campus is slightly hampered by the torrential rains; some of us sneezing (some have moved on to catching cold already); atmosphere humid and air clean, sky dark and clouds menacing, floor slippery and slippers muddy, shoes heavy and clothes clinging to the body, head scratchy and body aching.
Every one of us is waiting for the sun. The thick clouds are still protesting saintly and the sun has so far failed to pierce them; the clouds above are so low that they are brushing the tips of tall trees beside our campus, and resting on some mountain or plain in the horizon.
So far, no sun!