I had been on a quick last minute shopping with my sister last summer. It was late afternoon and was growing darker by the minute from the gathering clouds, but we both believed the rain would put off until dusk; and who minds getting a little drenched?
We were at the marketplace, when suddenly people around us gasped at the sky and scurried into hiding like fishes do at the sight of a shark. We both were amazed at the almost uniform reaction, and before we could realise or think further, the clouds fell on us with all their force.
We were dumb-struck for a second at the suddenness and force of it. The rain lashed at us, pelting heavy drops with such ferocity as if angry that we had not noticed it coming and not got out of its way.
We both ran to the nearest shelter we could find, but being in such a sudden storm almost in the open is completely a different thing. You never feel out of its way. In front of us, the rain continued to fall with a vengeance, the sky stared on, all swollen and sore with thick lofts of cloud, and the random frequent blazes of lightning accompanied by thunderbolts were a phenomenon in themselves.
Now, there is a myth prevalent here that lightnings are particularly attracted towards first-borns, newly-weds and beautiful dames. I don't know the theory behind it, but our dear mother had warned us so before we left home and pleaded we come back before it rains. So, for a while I kept teasing my sister as what do I do if any lightning notices her, as she was all the three combined! I did not want her to die on me and requested her to hide behind me for the sake of atleast her newborn son. She chided me along playfully but soon we both fell silent before the might of the lightnings before us, and the awe their commanded.
They were almost like over our head, and the power their possess is beyond words to explain. It makes us feel how vulnerable we humans are, and how precious the life within us is. Our heart leaps at their sight and we are thankful for every second of life spared to us!
We returned home nearly half an hour later when the rain receded, unscathed much to our mother's relief, but more humbled towards life and all the more grateful to the Almighty.