Coincidences never fail to amaze me. Here is another story of a series of coincidences.

I have four lovely Irish ladies in my life. Strictly by order of seniority, they are Grannymar, Gaelikaa, Bernadette and our Princess Eleanor. These four ladies will understand the preamble to this post once they read it fully. AND, Princess, I look forward to a dissertation from you, nothing less.

There is a month in the Indian calendar called Shravan, mid July to mid August when the seedlings are just getting soaked in the monsoon and there is little farm work to do. India is still predominantly agrarian and many of its festivals, religious occasions, etc are built around such idle times to keep idle minds busy and out of trouble.

Instead of getting up to mischief, most people in India observe the whole month of shravan as one of fasting and praying with simple meals and eschewing all intoxicants including coffee tea, tobacco liquor etc. Non vegetarians become vegetarians for this month.

The last day of the previous month Ashadha, is called gutteria day in the Western parts of India because on that day, many worthies will go from bar to bar, drink and eat all kinds of meat, poultry fish etc to their capacity and beyond and pass out in gutters, to start the month of abstinence from the next morning. Now I think that the reader will understand why the English word gutter is used as gutteria day for that day.

Last Sunday I met an old drinking buddy of mine who I had not seen in many years. We used to hoist a few together at the club bar on many evenings. Since I stopped drinking alcohol in 1999, I have not gone to the club bar and so had not met this friend. This meeting was brief as we were at a check out counter in a shopping mall and he said that we must do a pub crawl soon. I did not have the heart to tell him that I no longer drink.

I was explaining this meeting to another friend of mine in a different context, a couple of days later. I explained that Gutteria is a term used in the context of pub crawling. Just to see if any mention is made, I googled for it and lo and behold, I find that Gutteria is a Surname in Ireland!

I am not a linguist and cannot link the three different usages to one another, except for the first two where it is simple. I wonder what the third meaning would be as a surname!

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.


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.


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