Sunday, 22 July 2012

Monsoon : A metaphor of life

“Weather is great metaphor for life – sometimes it’s good, sometimes it is bad,  and there’s nothing much you can do about it but carry an umbrella”  - Pepper Giardino

“For the man sound in body and serene of mind  there is no such thing as bad weather; every day has its beauty, and storms which whip the blood do but make it pulse more vigorously” – George Gissing

“All things have their season, and a time  to every purpose under heaven;  a time to be born; and a time to die; a time to plant,  and a time to reap “ ( Ecclesiastes:  3: 1 – 2)

WATER, WATER everywhere and not a drop to drink… The Rime of the Ancient Mariner relates the experiences of a sailor who has returned from a long sea voyage. the longest major poem by the English poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge, written in 1797–98 and published in 1798 in the first edition of Lyrical Ballads.   But I narrate here from my own experiences and collections.

Urbanites get exposed to the poor civic infrastructure or poor planning  or maintenance of buildings with crack, blockage, water logging, overflowing  open drains adding to people’s woes .  Heavy rain caused severe inconvenience to commuters and people living in low-lying areas   I felt very uncomfortable this time due to entry of water in my house on which I pay a good amount of rent.  It disturbed my sleep and made me spent hours for removing so many buckets l of water entered inside the house.  The reason  for entry of water inside the flat which was on the first floor above which was a terrace where only one outlet which got blocked with leaves and fruits of the nearby tree.  So is the outlet in the balcony. Improper set up creates chaos at times. In my childhood, I could see rain coming through roof tiles in my  house when we kept different pots or vessels but never had a problem or bitter experience like this.

Rain rain go away, come back another day!
Rain gives different experiences and many imagines and reacts in their own way. We complain when it rains too much and complain when it rains too little. It sometimes brings some   uncomfortable situation, destruction and death making us feels it as a curse. Rainwater  being the source of drinking water, rain  can be perceived only as a blessing as it brings relief, beauty and growth making greener than ever.

“Beauty of Monsoon is that it is No Cycle, Periodicity, No Trend”

Monsoon rains are crucial for plants and animals along with hundreds of millions of human beings.  We find cattle in cracked fields, and lines of containers waiting for erratic visits by tanker lorries at the time of delayed monsoon or weak monsoon. Invoking the rain god, conducting special prayers and yajnas has become a usual thing.  Recently,  I could read a news about  a bizarre order of the state government of Karnataka deciding  to spend Rs 17 crore on special rain prayer.  The relief from the long spell of summer heat through the soothing showers monsoon and likelihood of growth, development and greenery around. Welcoming the monsoon, there used to be celebrations in many colorful ways, with rituals and traditions or characteristic of a particular state. In one of my earlier blogs on music, I wrote about musical concerts highlighting monsoon ragas.

Monsoon, the term used for the rainy phase of a seasonally-changing pattern, although technically there is also a dry phase. Monsoon is a term used all over the world and not in India alone and it is when an area receives large amounts of rain it is the four months of June- September.  Indians look up to the skies, checks the forecast models, measures and checks every possible parameter, from the Pacific Ocean water temperatures to the High pressure off the Australian Coast. Roughly 65 percent of the world's population lives in monsoon regions. This is the fastest growing region on the planet.  By the year 2025, it is anticipated this number will grow to 75 percent. Monsoon, the life-line of Indian agriculture. Erratic nature of the Monsoon of the Indian Monsoon of the Indian subcontinent is "vagaries of Monsoon”.

Indian Agriculture is gamble with monsoon.  Kharif (summer) crops harvested around the Dussehra and Diwali festivals is fully depended on the monsoon. Rice is the most important kharif crop, followed by pulses, coarse cereals, oil seeds, sugar cane and cotton that are less dependent on rain than the staple.

Monsoon reflects many moods.  Monsoon has been a paradox—so bountiful in the North-East that it has triggered deadly and destructive floods in one  region and so scarce in the other parts of the country  the ensuing drought has devastated people’s livelihoods

Every monsoon season brings news of floods causing   terrible damage to people's homes and buildings, and ruining people’s lives and livelihoods..  Monsoon has been concern not for farmers alone but for all in all the areas. Everybody has got their own missions coming out with their own products, tips, preparations, recipes whether it be medicine, food or fashion. This is the time when variety of outfits, umbrellas or canopy in different size and colours can be seen. During my childhood, colourful folded umbrellas were not available.  After I came to cities, I could see people go even without umbrellas and go in the drizzles. If  downpour is there, shelter is taken under a tree or some place till the rain gets subsided.  When the storm like rainfall is there, the light weight folding umbrella does not serve the purpose. 

Monsoon requires one every care and planning and it is a good news that Scientists are trying to unravel one of Mother Nature's biggest mysteries with the help of super computer that allow them to  make a quantum leap in predicting the erratic movements of the monsoon If successful, the impact would be life-changing in a country where 600 million people depend on farming for their livelihoods and where agriculture contributes 15 percent to the economy. Once the cracking of the monsoon code is done, it would help India conserve depleting water resources and agricultural output would get a boost as farmers would be able to plan their crops better. The paradox is that many farmers ignore the weather forecasts and rely instead on Hindu astronomical almanacs and signs in nature

While referring to cracking the source of code of monsoon by scientists, I would add the croaking of frogs from which we were able to guess from the nature the likelihood of rain in the near future. Such croaking has also become a rare to which also blaming is made on the effects of the climate change.

Ultimately it's all about water. It is mainly through rainfall and whatever amount of water we get and everybody needs water. Rain harvesting  is one of the approaches that is now being practiced What is essential to personal health, healthy economic, geopolitical, and environmental conditions around the world is clean air and clean water. Water is the fluid that gives us life The world’s fresh water (or about 0.007% of all water on earth) is readily accessible for direct human use is less than 1%. By 2025, as estimated by UN,  forty-eight nations, with combined population of 2.8 billion, will face freshwater “stress” or “scarcity”. Thus, due to population growth, climate change, and mismanagement, the need for adequate, affordable drinking (and irrigation) water is a growing international crisis. the unsustainable lifestyle of the wealthy few is storing up catastrophic climate change. The unsustainable style of wealthy few is storing up catastrophic climate change. Human suffering will be felt not just on the economy, but also in the way we live in the days to come.  Let us hope that all the concerned, through technology, science, development  or whatever,  would make a real difference in the future and make the world a better place finding solutions for everything.

"Climate is what we expect, Weather is what we get"- Mark Twain
“Weather is a dictator which distributes favors and penalties impartially”
“Weather’s prediction is always like woman’s wits, always tricky to guess”
“The best thing one can do when it’s raining is to let it rain” – Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
 “In one drop of water are found all the secrets of all the oceans; in one aspect of You are found all the aspects of existence.”  - Khalil Gibran
“In the world there is nothing more submissive and weak than water. Yet for attacking that which is hard and strong nothing can surpass it.” – Lao Tzu
“O wise man! Give your wealth only to the worthy and never to others. The water of the sea received by the clouds is always sweet.” - Chanakya

“Rain is grace; rain is the sky condescending to the earth; without rain, there would be no life.” – John Updike
“ And when it rains on your parade, look up rather than down. Without the rain, there would be no rainbow.” – Gilbert K. Chesterton
“This life is like a swimming pool. You dive into the water, but you can't see how deep it is” – Dennis Rodman

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