On Sunday, as I was finishing my weekly vegetable and fruit shopping, it started raining. It was a short, sharp spell and the sun was out in about 5 minutes.
And along with the sun came the rainbows—all three of them. People stopped to look at the rainbows; some even took pictures of the rainbows with their mobile phone cameras, me included. And then went about their own ways, me included.
As I got into the auto-rickshaw with my vegetable- and fruit-laden bags, the driver asked me if I believed in rainbows. I must have looked puzzled or cynical or both, for he went on to explain that the rainbow was a symbol of all things good and positive—love, peace, hope and, of course, rain. He added that with so many rainbows around, there was bound to be a good monsoon this year in India, along with many other positive things. I made non-committal noises throughout the 5-minute ride home.
When I handed him the fare, the driver asked me, “Why did you take the picture of the rainbow?”
For an instant, I was stumped for an answer. And then I replied, “Because it is beautiful.”
He chided me gently, “Nature’s beauty isn’t everything. With it comes power, the power of all good things. What is the point of photographing something if you don’t believe in its power? If only people truly believed in things instead of looking at its outer trappings, the world would be a better place.”
As he drove away, the rain began to fall, in earnest this time.