Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Moonsoon - Attitudes Before, During and After

It's by now common knowledge that the monsoon is the most eagerly awaited season in India. The extent of its importance can be gauged by the fact that ALL the sectors critically depend on it for improvements.

This monsoon was very interesting from the perspective of people's attitude towards it. The word people would include many - myself, friends, relatives, colleagues, random strangers; you get the drift, right? :-)

Till the rains come, the constant gripe is about how hot it is, how severe water cuts are; what a scorching summer our country has; how greenhouse gases are gonna smoke us all out of the earth etc

The first rains are the most welcome - people start describing romance like it has just been discovered, there is a sudden expression of love for the smell of moist earth and getting drenched is treated as the 'Yo' thing. Trips to hill stations like Lonavla, Khandala become the rage; trekking in the rain is considered 'the must do' thing; women in wet sarees & chai-pakora become the rage ;-)

As the monsoon steadily builds up, the initial romantic euphoria leads to spewing of statistics - deficit/excess/normal being the defining adjectives. The meteorologists are on trial everyday to assess if their prediction of the rain is correct or not. A constant watch is kept on the level of the water supply sources.

The next stage in this complex relationship is grumbling - clothes don't dry, i'm constantly drenched, vehicles move slowly, visibility is sometimes poor, the roads are rubbish, so may deaths due to flooding, so many homeless etc

The last stage is an absolute "when will it end" phase - This is where everyone prepares to be Noah about to disembark from his Ark.The irritation with the rains is written clearly on the faces of people.

After that, what? The cycle continues till the end of a scorching summer when the parched earth sighs and gasps and moans for the first drops of rain!

I'll close this with a wonderful kannada couplet

maLe bantu maLe, koDe hiDidu naDe

The rain has arrived; start carrying an umbrella

daariyallli koncha biddu, baTTe ella koLe
Having fallen down on the way, all the clothes are dirty

bisilu bantu dHage, koTu tOpi tege

The sun is out now; remove your coat and cap

baaviyalli neeru sedi, sopu haaki oge
Draw water from the well and wash the clothes with soap


No comments: