It rained last evening and into late night. Not sure if this was expected - nevertheless, I was happy to have the rain. Got stuck in traffic to Sharjah, however the radio stations helped - so did the decaff from an Emarat gas pump.
I got home, changed - took a shower, and sat near my bedroom window, watched the drops fall by the window - on the plants in the garden - on the rear windshield of my dad's SUV. At times the drops seemed heavy 'cause they made more noise.
I reminisce my very first memory of a hailstorm in the UAE back in late 1979 (or perhaps early 1980). I was about three then. I remember it was a weekend - there was a dinner party at my parent's home. They had a friends over - everyone was talking, drinking and having a meal – Abba, Earth Wind & Fire and Boney M playing in the background - and we hear rain drops (no idea if this was expected). Heavy rain led to some heavier noises and some loud drops that seemed like pebbles/stones.
Cousins, friends and I jump over to a couch near my bedroom window (the same window I am watching the rain today) to see huge chunks of ice fall all over the place. The weather was unusually chilly & windy. Chunks of ice fell from the heavens - like popsicles. I recall being super excited, holding onto my cousin - who held onto my twin. We were thrilled at the sight of an "exciting" event happening right in our garden.
Dad seemed a tad bit worried, I recall one of his friends’s got all upset. His car (a brand new Nissan Datsun) had it's windscreen smashed by falling chunks of ice.
Mom came into check on us. She brought us some bread (from the Chicken Tikka Inn) with their famous barbecued chicken and some hummus(I miss Chicken tikka).
I remember the hailstorm went on for about 20 minutes (perhaps longer) - mixed with rain, which was much longer. After it was all over – cousins, friends and I ran into the garden. The grass was wet and there lay chunks of ice, mostly covered in sand. This was the first time any of us actually "saw" icicles fall from the sky. Though apprehensive, we were super inquisitive to touch 'em - take those indoors and play with them. I recall the excitement, the laughter/giggles – the moment when my twin picked up the largest one and tired to fit it into his tiny pocket. Mom emptied our hands of our new found cold treasures – and washed off the sand from our hands.
Sitting at the very same window and watch the rain makes it seem like yesterday. I am not sure what happened to a few of those cousins/friends - or most of my dad's friends? I know some of them moved on. I lost touch with a lot of people. Perhaps the people/things which remain from that evening are my parents, my bedroom window and and a particular plant mom planted many moons ago.
My two year old nephew runs into my room - leaps/climbs over to my lap, all excited seeing the rain. He stares out the window smiling with eyes wide open, wanting to play out in grass. I look into his eyes, and reminisce those moments and more.