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   Rain-soaked Monday mornings are times to stay at home..... (June 15, 1987)

Rain-soaked Monday mornings are times to stay at home. To lie in bed and listen to the rain in the trees, to watch it making long watery trails on the window glass. Rainy Monday mornings are times to burrow under the blanket, to be aware that you have to go to work and know that you are not going. To have tea in the bed (what Indian hotels call bed-tea), perhaps tea with a touch of ginger in it, but that only if you like it so. To be dry and comfortable when the whole world around is wet. To stretch and laze in the bed and then nod off to sleep once again. But not all of rainy Monday mornings should be spent sleeping. To savour the prospects of staying at home and dry, you have to be awake. To wish the others going to work, armed with raincoats and umbrellas and other monsoon paraphernalia that does not guarantee they will not get wet, a good day on the wet roads, wetter trains, in an air-conditioned office smelling of damp clothes.

Standing on the verandah and watching the wet world go by in a procession of umbrellas. The knowledge that half the procession will return to their homes in the evening with a cold in their heads, cramps in their feet. But this is only one side of the pleasures of staying at home on rain-soaked Monday mornings. There are other, more personal, pleasures:

The scent of new grass, wet earth, the bloom of new flowers on what passes off for your garden on the window ledge; above all, the sound of the rain. It is the most depressing sound in the world - the sound of a steady downpour on the asphalt outside, a certain sorrowful hiss. But it could also be one of the more comfortable sounds in the world if you know that you do not have to venture out into that sound, that you can spend the rest of the day lying in bed and listening to it. Not that you lie in bed the whole day. You potter around from room to room in an empty house. You make a lazy breakfast of scrambled eggs in Vijaya butter, cream, marmalade, a pot of tea. And you read the papers, your mind only half on the news. The forecast is that it is going to rain all day, that some of the rain may be heavy and accompanied by thunder and lightning.

And you think of your own prospect of spending the whole day at home, completing a book that you started reading on Sunday, going through the stock of video cassettes for old black-and-white Hollywood movies. You lie in the bed, reading, watching and listening to the rain. On Tuesday, and on the rest of the days of the week, you will go to work, and it would not matter if it is raining. For the great pleasures of staying at home and in bed are only on rain-soaked Mondays.

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