Rains were lashing the village of Tikwadi. No being, living, dead or inanimate, had had any respite from the persistent downfall of loaded raindrops. Pathways full of potholes were transformed into rivulets with uneven bed. Not that there was a dire need for use of any of these pathways.
Tikwadi was known for the distinct hebetude amongst the dwellers of this rugged land. There were different kinds of people – of varied nature, varied colour, varied beliefs and varied professions. What connected them all was their utter lack of liveliness in the face of any hardship. A hint of annoyance, and the whole village would go dead-still. Extreme summers made them spread themselves on the bed. Stormy monsoons had them locked in their houses. Chilly winters had them cloaked and hooded in the layers of Shawls. The village, and the villagers, ran when the nature was kind.
Of course, the incessant rains of last week had got the village long deserted. There was no seeable movement nor any discernible sound, except that of the pounding rain. A whoosh of wind that shook the whole surrounding was, hence, definitely bizarre for its suddenness. It was as if it had no trigger to originate, nor did it have a gradual route to non-existence; it just disappeared. It did leave behind something though, equally odd and a lot more ghastly.
Tikwadi wasn’t ready for Him yet.
Raghu and Ganya were huddled together under the porch to keep themselves dry, and warm. They saw a body, befogged by the rain around, walk towards them.
“Has it stopped raining?” Ganya quipped.
Raghu rolled his eyes, then on second thought kneaded his eyes a bit and looked around. But then rolled his eyes again and looked pitifully at Ganya.
“Don’t look at me like that.” Ganya responded, a bit flustered. “If it hasn’t stopped raining, who is that walking around?”
“He cannot be someone from here.” Raghu finally spoke.
“Then where is he from?” Ganya looked at the rolling eyes of Raghu and complained, “Whoever taught you that did not tell you when to do that.”
He had reached next to them by now. He spoke something that, to Raghu and Ganya, were just noises. They looked at each other, weighing the option of enquiring further. But their lethargic self won. So they just rolled their eyes, went inside and slammed the door in His face.