Have you been told some time or the other that if you really need something, you will get it? Has it ever happened? Of course it would have. And that something would be a life changing wish like getting married to the guy/girl of your choice or getting admission in the school you dreamt of or a dream car.....
I have had many such wishes and I went behind it and realized it. What I am sharing today is not anything of that sort; and yet it was something I really needed and I got it in a short time even without searching for it.
My last visit to the US in 2010; my friend was relocating to another apartment and I was helping him clear off his belongings. This arrangement was temporary since he would move to another place in a couple of months. So instead of moving all his stuffs; he was taking only the much needed and dumping everything off in the public storage. While cleaning a closet; I came across a long wooden tube. When I took it in my hands; it seemed hollow inside and was making a musical sound like falling rain. My friend noticed it and he told me he got it during his trip in San Diego. A note was attached to the instrument. Reading it; I got to know that the instrument was called a Rain stick. They were made only from a particular species of cactus after its dead by Indian tribes of Chile. They used it as a musical instrument to bring rain. They were farmers living in the Atacama desert area. Thorns from the plants are pressed into dead wood. The pebbles hitting these thorns as they fall down the hollow tube creates rain-like sound.
The mention of South America, Chile, Atacama enchanted me. I was holding the 1 meter long cylindrical tube in my hand for a long time. My friend showed no sign of understanding; he promptly took it from me and placed it in a corner among the dumps we were to take it to storage. I asked him if he is going to store that away? He answered in affirmative. I pursued; told him it would be nice to have it with him and he can play it to soothe himself; the music that came out from it was mesmerizing. He said he did not want it. A part of me was thinking then why not offer it to me? I wouldn't ask ever. I was thinking he would change his mind and give it to me later as a token of appreciation for helping him.
So after clearing up everything, we made a number of rounds to the storage carrying the loads in his car. When it was time for the rain stick, I made one last attempt to coax him to keep it with him thinking he would just offer it to me. He didn't; it went to the dark corner of the cold storage room and shut tight.
I thought about the rain stick for few days; I was wondering if they sold it anywhere else near by in and around Silicon valley or in India. The rain stick was producing a storm within me and I wished I could find it somewhere sometime in future during my travels. I left USA and on my way visited Mauritius. I forgot about the rain stick after few days. Visited Casela National park the second day and while exiting; we had to get out through a souvenir shop. That's when I noticed it; I wanted to make sure I was seeing what I was thinking. Yes! it was! the rain stick. These ones were not rustic and unpainted like the one Shyam had. They were brightly painted in orange, green, blue and red and carved by hand. I immediately bought one. I could get it in less than a month's time was something I never thought would happen.
Its there with me and will be there for ever. Whenever I want to hear the sound of falling rain; I roll the rain stick. :)
Here is mine.
A typical rain stick - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Rainstick_01.png
More about rainsticks - http://www.nativevillage.org/Messages%20from%20the%20People/Rainsticks-Heard%20Museum.htm
Sound of a rain stick - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Rainstick.ogg