A distant rumbling thunder.
There it comes,
Pitter-pattering rain and with it rises the fresh earthy scent of mud in the air.
Avni goes running out of her mud and straw hut with the pullu of her sari over her head, its tip clenched tightly between her teeth to prevent the pallu from falling.
She hurriedly grabs the washed clothes hanging on the fenced railing and runs back inside the hut.
After a while, white smoke rises from her hut.
Every time it rains, Avni brews tea.
She sits quietly and watches the foamy brown liquid come to a rapid boil.
After a minute, she removes the chai from the fire, pours it over a strainer and into two large mud cups.
She covers the cups with a lid, goes out running again and enters the hut opposite to hers.
Eighty-year old Ajjamma lives here and Avni is very fond of her.
The view from the other side of Ajjamma’s hut is beautiful. It overlooks a large pond with fields of corn surrounding it.
Every time it rains, Avni and Ajjamma sit by the doorstep of the hut in silence and drink chai.
They watch raindrops splashing and creating bubbles of air in the pond, they watch the field of crops sway gently with the wind and they like the mist softly touching their skin.
This is happiness to them, in each other’s company and their hot cup of tea.