Tuesday, June 04, 2013

Rain, rain, don't go away

It is interesting that the monsoon sets in India just as the long wet months of rain end in this part of the world. In my imaginations, the clouds consider their work done here in Oregon and move on to the other side of the planet where the billion-plus in the Subcontinent eagerly await the downpours after having survived yet another summer of heat and dust.

As kids, when we visited grandmas' villages every summer, I found it fascinating that people always talked about the rain.  Conversations between men typically involved openers like மேக்க மழை உண்டோ? (any rain in the west?)  It seemed like that was how they even said hello to each other.  And then the next few minutes were spent talking only about the rains.

There was a good reason why the rain talk featured so much--it is the source of the vital water for life and farming.  No snow banks in those near-equatorial conditions.

The rain-fed Tamarabarani at sundown, Srivaikuntam 2012
Many, many movies that I watched during those childhood years explored rural stories that also portrayed life when the monsoon failed.  Stories of hardship, deprivation, and heroism.  "Thanneer thanneer" (water, water) was one of the movies that made quite an impression on the young adult that I was; as I blogged earlier, using the context of water scarcity,:
Adapted from a play, the movie was one sarcastic tragic-comedy on the plight of the poor, the bureaucracy, and the self-promoting and self-aggrandizing politicians.  It was brilliant.
Perhaps conditioned by all the experiences of growing up in the rural settings, and interacting with folks from there throughout the adult life, even now my father, who lives anything but a rural life, worries about the rains.  Even before I had read the news about the meteorologists statement on the monsoon, father talked about it when I called him up a couple of days ago.

Listening to father's comments, I, too, then visualized in my mind the breeze in Sengottai that typically was the monsoon's calling card.  The rains that then made the waterfalls at Courtallam a wonderful sight for the eyes, and a pleasure for the body when getting massaged by those waters.

Here is to hoping that the rain clouds from Oregon have reached their destinations in India.  A "meghaduta" of a different kind.

I know I will see them here again in October.  I shall wait for you, my friend.  And welcome you with open arms.


Ramesh said...

Yes, please send us all your rain.

The biggest challenge for India is water and its going to get worse with the years as the population increases and the demand for water goes up. Its only the monsoon that can save us.

All cities are now seriously water deficient. Public water supply is only for a couple of hours a day, and that is if we are lucky. We are all digging deeper and deeper borewells and the primary means of water distribution is lorries carrying water.

So I'm mouthing the same mantra - rain rain, don't go away. Forget Oregon where there are more goslings than people ; come here instead :)

Sriram Khé said...

Yes, the demand for water will increase, and increase a lot. More than the population growth, it is economic growth that will drive up the demand way up. Water will be used in so many ways that wouldn't be the case in a less sophisticated economy.
I can't ever understand why very little, if any, has ever been done .... but, then, that is India :(

BTW, remember your post on gas cylinder subsidy? Water, too, is terribly under-priced in India, and the subsidy helps the urban middle and upper classes, when ... oh well, ...

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