The best teacher – Nature

Sheets of rain falling thickly off the windows and corridors of a grey school, lifting spirits and bringing broad smiles to every face around. 

After a parched summer, when dark clouds gather like pieces of leftover lace, schools and offices should just not open. Let the children get wet, splash in the rain, eat something fresh and hot at a time they are usually in school. Let them meet friends, read a book sitting near the window. Switch off the TV, turn off your mobile phones and go for a walk with your children. Anything but coop them up in classrooms. 
In an average life spanning six or more decades, don’t we all deserve a few days of cool weather, lovely life giving rain, languorous days spent lazily contemplating something or nothing? 
And as for those children ( monsters?)who spend such days doing extra homework, or reading the next chapter, shut them up in a windowless room for the next 7 years! Or maybe it is their parents who deserve that. Lives there a child who doesn’t love the outdoors?
Let the adults enjoy, too. Let the hard working man sleep a little extra on this cool morning enjoying the rare pleasure of lolling in bed, half asleep, with the pitter-patter of raindrops in the background. Let the housewife linger over her tea, knowing she does not have to rush to the kitchen to start cooking. Let her watch the drops of rain falling, let her get wet, let the house get ‘dirty’ – lay aside worries and little irritants, just enjoy the rain. Look at the puppies frolicking in the mud, the drenched cows munching steadily, the beauty of the wet trees drip-drip-dripping.

Many years ago on just such a rainy day, in a dark 10th standard classroom, there was an unaccustomed silence as the girls let the steady drumming of raindrops take over. Silvery streams steadily making their way down from the dark grey skies, flooding the badminton courts, giving each one of us the eerie feeling of being alone in a world filled with soft sounds. Everybody wanted to go out. Having watched just such downpours longingly from claustrophobic classrooms as a student myself, I could understand the strong desire of these young girls who had never had “too much” rain. And I took a sudden decision. (These kids may never see such rain again!) The girls would take a turn in the corridor surrounding the quadrangle; they could touch the fat drops of rain falling continuously, but they had to contain all their oohs and aahs, for fear of disturbing all the other classes they would pass. The joy in their eyes lit up our dark classroom. Yes ma’am, they chorused and out we all stepped.

The management frowned, some colleagues congratulated me on this step, others self righteously and primly talked about discipline, and other sour smelling words. 
I know only one thing – it has been more than 15 years now and I still meet young women who remember that day as one of the best in their lives.