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Tuesday, November 06, 2012

There Will Come Soft Rains

A long time ago….

I was in school, when I first encountered "There Will ComeSoft Rains" by Ray Bradbury,
This was was my first science fiction (sci-fi) story. Those were the days when sci-fi genre dealt with what could very possibly be the future, rather than the action and mayhem, minus the vision that has become kind of norm these days.

So, tucked away at the very end, in the “Gulmohur Guided English” text book. (Orient BlackSwan), this story was given in a shortened version. Although the essence of the full story remained, the more grim stuff were edited away to suit the sensibilities of the young readers of Std 8. Yet the story remains with me as one of the most vivid and imaginative short story in ANY genre.

Unfortunately, the syllabus portions for exams that year had excluded that story, along with (thankfully) some miscellaneous poems. But the redoubtable late Mr. Francis, our English teacher, who had a curious liking for realistic (read morbid) took us through the story anyway.

Unlike most of the teachers of today, who believe in sticking by the syllabus, and caring for little else, this generation of teachers had a passion to teach. Their efforts to introduce always a newer aspects of subjects to their students, was one of the blessings of my life. All of us, mostly boys, cried in blue murder at the sight of a possible games period (read cricket match) going waste.

Today, I realize that I will always be thankful for that class. And this story...

Mr. Percy Francis may be no more available to take you through it, but this story is there on the COSMOS Magazine


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