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Showing posts from June, 2014

An Ode to Rain

There is something within me
that is a desert,
a dying plain of cracked mud,
an empty cup
that forever thirsts
for another sip
of rain.
                                                                – Stephanie Rachel Seely, An Ode to Rain
Kalidasa would not have chosen this year to write Meghdoot. The famed southwest monsoon of the Indian subcontinent is at its five year lowest as of June. A strong El NiƱo is being blamed for such an anomaly, holding back the most beloved weather of the world from us just like it did in 2009. If anyone had asked you about India’s monsoon of the previous year, you may have responded with a satisfactory smile. It was beautiful. The rivers were flowing to the brim and the agricultural production was far better. I’m not sure what the government figures tell, but the farmers of Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh were more-or-less happy with the yield if you forgive disease and pest outbreaks in certain regions.
The monsoon of the year 2013 was considered to …

Of Mahua and Her People

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When thou hast lived as long as I have, Little Brother, thou wilt see how all the Jungle obeys at least one Law. And that will be no pleasant sight.” – Baloo to Mowgli, The Second Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling
It definitely lies in the centre. I debated with a friend who said it lies west, in Rajasthan. One said it is in Gujarat, and another, slightly down south in Andhra Pradesh. Well, to each his own. Everyone has their geographic theories of where the heart of India’s summer lies. For some it has been found in Mumbai (I couldn’t argue there: the already hot seaside city is slowly turning into a tangle of concrete buildings and tar roads – a soup for the heat island effect monster). But the historically famed and geographically appropriate location lies indeed at the very heart of India, in the central Indian highlands where temperatures commonly cross the 40 degree mark, when everything seems to stop. I call it the summer freeze. I have experienced only snippets of summer in In…