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Essay: Storm caught

It does not happen to everybody to come face to face with a storm. I had had such a bitter experience. Even today I wonder how I kept alive in that storm.

It happened this way. The afternoon was just pleasant and I took my bicycle and was on my way to a village some six kilometers away where a relative of mine lived. The path lies through an avenue of trees with fields on either side as far as the eyes can see. But for one or two stray cottages here and there, there is nothing to shelter one on the road. When I was about half way, dark clouds gathered in the sky. It was threatening and I pedaled hard but before I had gone a few hundred meters, there was a sudden burst of thunder and a blinding lightning. It began to rain cats and dogs and the rain came down in big drops. The light was very poor and the road was bad. As the rain was lashing on my face I could not pedal at my bicycle. I knew it was dangerous to go and take shelter under a tree in such a heavy rain because lightning would strike green trees, so with great effort I kept to the middle of the road. Suddenly the wind rose and gained momentum. It grew wild and before its force the trees simply danced. One could hear the howling noise of the stormy wind.

I was soaked to the skin. My fingers were benumbed. I could not push hard. Now and then I could see the heavenly rage in the lightning flashes which appeared to hiss almost by my side. To add to my fear, there was a sudden thunderclap and a big tree crashed to the ground. In this situation the will to live alone goaded me on. As the road was soaked with flood water, I could not ride the bicycle. There were pot holes and swirling water. But it was not a question of abandoning. I prayed to God to conduct me safely.

At long last, the flickering light from the village was seen and I was in my relative’s house after a few minutes. What a relief to be under a roof behind closed doors in such weather! My relative gave me a change of warm clothing and I had never enjoyed a warm cup of tea as I did that day.

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