It's raining headgears

The tufts of hair on the kids' heads were covered by artistically-folded, polythene bags.

Some days ago, the sudden showers had me scampering towards the slanting roof of a sari showroom for shelter. For some time, I had my eyes transfixed on a tiny chink in the shop awning, through which the rain droplets were percolating onto the fascia-board, forming cute circular designs. Slowly, my gaze began roving around the rain-drenched roads.

I happened to see three young girls, walking in the rain, all three holding salwar dupattas over their heads with outstretched hands. Indeed, it was a fabulous spectacle to watch the fluttering and rustling cotton dupatta, looking like a mobile overhead canopy, protecting the three heads from pelting rains. As I was marvelling at the human brain’s capacity to improvise things, I saw a portly female, flanked by two children, scurrying towards the same shelter I was in.

The tufts of hair on both the kids’ head were covered by artistically-folded, transparent, polythene handbags. While one of these makeshift headgears looked like a sombrero hat, the other resembled a rodeo! Maybe she was among those mothers under the strong conviction that “even if the body is soaking wet, the heads ought to be bone-dry,” to avoid becoming susceptible to severe respiratory tract infections.

Then, I happened to see a scrawny woman, striding on the road with a shuffling gait. She was battling with her rather intransigent umbrella, which was constantly curling upward, resembling a humongous full-bloomed flower. What she did next was really amusing. Instead of pulling down the upturned umbrella, she turned it the other way and then clutching it with both hands, she resumed walking, letting the umbrella ribs and handle face skyward!

Then, there was a gaggle of giggly school guys, with weirder and wackier headgears, wading through the water in wildest abandon. One had an inverted, small-sized cardboard carton on his head; the second had a cut-away piece of wooden crate as shield; the third held a dry coconut frond while the fourth used a shell of tender coconut (with its jelly-like, translucent, white insides fully eviscerated out).

At that instant, three grunge-slathered construction workers came bounding towards us with quirkier headgears. One was covering his noddle with a natty strip of hessian cloth, while the other had a serrated-edged, broken bucket on his bald head. Another was protecting his head with a thin thermocol sheet, wedged between two layers of discarded bubblewrap. Yet another had his noggin wrapped in a layer of high-density polyethene.

Indeed, it is said, the sky is the limit for creative brains. But looking at these innovative raingear contraptions, I guess, even the entire galaxy isn’t the limit!  

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