Rains.

The Rains in India are the most looked forward to events every year. For a country with many festivals the anticipation level for the simple annual natural event takes precedence over all other celebrations as if the rains do not come, disaster follows.

This year, I was traveling in South India when the North Eastern Monsoon broke over Chennai and I arrived there with the monsoon. I saw what rain could do to that city during the few days that I spent there. I also saw the grandeur of the monsoon in full strength from the veranda of my brother Arvind’s flat overlooking a lake and the Bay of Bengal in the distance. It was awesome.

The rains this year in Pune were like what we used to have when we first moved to Pune in 1990. The first monsoon in our very own home was in 1991, though we moved into a furnished apartment for a few months in 1990 till we located and bought the flat in which we currently live. So, this was the 22st monsoon that we saw here earlier this year, and bar two, they have all been good and normal. This year was a bit erratic but in the end gave us enough rainfall to avert drought conditions till next year.

One of the nicest things about the monsoon is that every thing around us gets refreshed and all the plants and the trees in the neighbourhood turn green and look cheerful! I am very serious. They do.

Every monsoon, till infarctions felled my late wife Urmeela, we used to go for a weekend to Mahabaleshwar, a nearby hill station to enjoy the rains there and to literally walk through the clouds. We used to have hot coal fire roasted corn on the cob from wayside vendors, hot tea and some amazing food hustled up exclusively for us in the hotel that we used to stay in as, during the rainy season, hardly any other guest would venture to this place.

The river Krishna originates from Mahabaleshwar and there is a Shiva temple built around the spring head. By the time the spring waters reach the plains 4500 feet below at Wai, the river has formed into a formidable force of water. In spate, the river can cause considerable damage as you will learn from the linked article.

Of the three main seasons for Pune, Summer, Monsoon and Winter, I prefer the monsoon from June to September. The climate is cool and wet but the air is fresh and there is greenery everywhere around. Urmeela and I used to love to sit in the verandah and watch the rain fall into our garden. We would have hot tea in the mornings and some hot snacks with tea if it was in the afternoons. I do not feel like doing that any more. I do sit in the mornings for my tea, but it is not quite the same.

I hope you enjoyed reading this post on the weekly Friday Loose Bloggers Consortium where thirteen of us write on the same topic. Today’s topic has been chosen by yours truly. The twelve other bloggers who write regularly are, in alphabetical order, Anu, Delirious, gaelikaa, Grannymar, Maxi, Maria SF, ocdwriter, Padmum, Paul, Rohit, Shackman, The Old Fossil and Will. Do drop in on their blogs and see what their take is on this week’s topic. Since some of them may post late, do give some allowance for that too!

Weather And Emotions.

This post is the Loose Consortium Bloggers’ Friday post when Ashok, Conrad, Grannymar, Magpie11, Marianna, Maria, Gaelikaa, Helen, Judy , and I write one post each on the same topic. Please visit the other blogs too to have different views on this fascinating subject.

francine

India has three major weather seasons and one in between. The winter, the summer, the monsoon and the post monsoon. The Indian calendar clearly follows the climate pattern. Unlike the Gregorian calendar, which has four seasons, Indian calendar has six seasons. Each season consists of two months (Ritus). Instead of complicating matters, let us just say, that the four seasons of the Gregorian calendar has been sub divided to be more relevant to the Indian climate. The Indian calendar is followed for agricultural and religious purposes and is considered to be very accurate for such end uses.

Now, when a nation has six seasons, or rather six subtly different from each other different weather conditions, can its people afford to allow the weather to dictate their emotions? So, Indians have been brain washed to be stoic about weather. In fact, they are taught from childhood to be stoic about every thing. So, the concept of weather affecting emotions does not seem to be applicable to us.

Our ex rulers, the British, were and continue to obsess about weather. It is their favourite topic of conversation. We Indians picked up that particular trait from them and do discuss the weather at every possible opportunity, usually to complain.

The British called the monsoon, gloomy weather, but the Indian longs and prays for copious rains. When it comes, he dances with joy. Some major religious festivals and self purification processes like fasting are undertaken during the monsoon so that idle brains, shut indoors, do not get up to mischief. Towards the end of the monsoon, the major festivals of Ganesh, Navarathri and Diwali are finished and done with so that he can concentrate on the major agriculatural season that would start and get over by around February/March of the following year.

The summer was treated as the least desirable of all the seasons by the British, who tended to move to the cooler climes of our hill stations during the summer. The Indian on the other hand, welcomes the summer because he is free from agricultural duties, and can concentrate on his religious duties, get his offspring married off and undertake repairs and maintenance of his property etc.

During the winter, which is really cold only in the northern most part of India, it is not of the type that the West is used to. Life goes on, albeit with more clothes worn, but nothing like getting snowed in takes place, except in the Himalayas.

That leaves a tiny bit of post monsoon, pre winter couple of months, which coincided with Autumn or Fall in the West. Nothing melancholy happens. This is the time of serious agricultural operations and match making for the winter marriage season.

What I have stated above is for the vast majority of Indians who live in rural India and are dependent on agriculture and other rural occupations. The minority who live in urban India, are not as affected by the seasons but do observe the same festivals and rituals that the rural Indian does based on the Indian calendar.

Not that the Indian is sans emotions. He can experience and demonstrate all the range of emotions that humans are capable of. He simply does not let weather have any thing to do with them. In fact, on a day to day basis, he can experience and demonstrate all the emotions one after the other, depending on that day’s circumstances.

There are two rules for living in harmony. #1) Don’t sweat the small stuff, and #2) It’s all small stuff.
– Wayne Dyer,

The Indian lives by and large in harmony and sweats copiously throughout the year. Yes, despite having been taught by my English teacher that horses sweat, people perspire, I am inclined to go with Wayne Dyer on this.

sweating

“In the depths of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer.”
– Albert Camus