Vaishali and Young Love
Black Burma Rice Pudding/ Kheer

Monsoon Blues and Greens

It has been a hell of a monsoon. Not just for people in Bombay, who are still paying the price of the downpour in ill health, but for farmers , whose crops have been ruined with excessive rain and flood situations in some areas.

While the facts about mismanagement by successive governments will now come out and the finger of blame pointed to many, the fact is, the ordinary citizen shines in an extraordinary light.

As commuters waded through waist high water, on the road home, in some cases for 36 hours, they were met with amazing kindnesses. Sudhir, a friend, speaks of being helped by families from houses along the way, who plied him and his fellow sufferers with food and water, even offering medicines such as analgesics to those who were in pain.Tales of courage and self sacrifice in such horrendous circumstances remind me of the dignity of the human spirit in the darkest times.

While the media does need to find out the answers to puzzling questions of culpability and governance, it would do well to, just sometimes, shine a spotlight on these instances of a shared humanity.

In Pune the monsoon has not been as bad but definitely one of the worst we have seen in a long time. For several days the rivers running through the city threatened to burst their banks and people often returned home early, in case they were cut off by flooded bridges.

The other side to the tales of woe, the ruined roads with massive potholes, the ghastly state of the traffic, the slush and dirt and mud --- are the shiny washed leaves on the trees, the greenery , the lushness of the surrounding villages and , yes , the avocadoes, papayas and other fruit and vegetables which have done well with the additional rain. After being under a heavy cloud for some time I guess I must add my own bit of sunshine. And here it is. The joy of rain.


Bai in the rain with papayas

MOnsoon 05