Flash Post 283!
Button, we got caught in the midst of a Norwester last evening.
What’s a Norwester?
It’s a local rainfall and thunder storm which occurs in India and Bangladesh with increased frequency from March till monsoon.
How did you get caught in one?
You’re aware that we are in Kolkata and this is one of the cities that experiences this work of nature. We walked out of our hotel because Dost wanted to buy a nasal drop and I had a few itsy-bitsy things to pick up. It was around 7.30 in the evening. Finding our usual chemist shop shut we walked a little ahead to check if there was another one round the corner. That’s when the Kalbaishakhi struck.
What’s a Kalbaishakhi?
That’s what a Norwester is called in Bengal. The street we took was riddled with hawkers hurriedly packing their wares in cloth and cardboard cartons. There wasn’t an inch of space where we could put our feet down. We were jostled and almost carried forward against our will. People on the streets started running helter skelter in every direction and shouting to each other giving instructions to their fellow hawkers that they should pack up for the day. We got covered in dust and I even had to hold on to my kurta to keep it down. Plastic bags of all shapes, sizes and colour floated in the air while some got entangled around our legs and it was impossible to see where we were headed. A hawker who was selling lingerie suddenly jumped in front of us almost knocking us down because some of his wares had fallen on the ground while he was hastily packing them in cartons and were being stamped upon by the jostling public. Luckily we found a chemist shop and hurried in. We had just purchased the nasal drop when I looked out to check if the gale had subsided. To my horror, I found that it had started raining.
Next frame, please.
We left the shop and almost ran back to our hotel with damp hair and damp clothes.
Was Dost bothered at all?
Not a bit. He seemed to be in good spirit having caught some raindrops on his head. What he was mighty irritated about was that some kid had stepped on his squeaky clean sneakers which was sent to the laundry immediately upon our return to the hotel.
I find this difficult to believe!