27 July, 2009

And it all came pouring down....

Rainfall and I have something going. I am sure Assam and Meghalaya had some record breaking years between 1987 and 1994 when I was living there. I won't be surprised to find out that there were record south westerly monsoons when most of it used to fly over my head during my years at Suratkal between 1997 and 2001. Similarly, I am certain that the repeated flooding in the UK in the past few years was no El nino.
(There was a character called McKenna in the HHGTTG who was the rain god and had similar characteristics, his hit rate was 100%, I am not anywhere close thankfully).
With such a history, when people talk about strange weather and untimely rains in Delhi and Gurgaon, I just shrug. The monsoons are in full swing now, so rains are not unexpected, but the 18mm we got yesterday was close to an all time record. 

I think that Delhi looks very pretty just after the rains stop. Waterlogged streets with water receding, traffic reclaiming the streets, the freshly washed look of everything and so on. So many things happens at once. Traffic moves through like a stream  - It is an obstacle course and it finds the path of least resistance -   punctuated with pools of water, groups of two-wheelers waiting out the rain, broken down cars and buses, parked animals and so on. Last night was great that way - my personal traffic stream was undulating as any but the traffic was light and I was home in regular time.
So many things happening at once - this is life... and living in India during the monsoons is life at its fluctuating, pulsating, vibrant best.
(Images courtesy: soumik, evrensahin)

(The tone of the above paragraph would have been much different had it taken me a few hours to get home while walking through waist deep slush, but I did not)

An individual's life is sometimes only a by-product of so many macro changes that have happened or are happening, so much so that it would be depressing as it leaves little to no credit for him to relish and relate to his friends.
My entire life reads like one. I have parents who were educated in institutes set up at the eve of this country gaining independence. My father found employment in the 70s with TELCO (now Tata Motors) building trucks and then with Escorts (building tractors). In the mid 80s, we found ourselves in Assam with my father working in plywood. Economically, India was also just about chugging along with a hindu rate of growth and very little political initiative. (I think that the fifteen years from emergency onwards were a colossal loss for India). We then moved to Delhi in the 1990s which was the roaring decade for India's manufacturing sector and my father was back into the thick of it. I also went to colleges set up by the government in the 1950s - now coming of age and having a vintage respected widely in industry both in India and elsewhere. So many of my friends moved to the West (very able and products of some of the most competitive exams in the world, educated on government subsidised education, all of them will do well - their competence will enrich India only as remittances and not as managerial or entrepreneurial inputs). Some of us came back for very personal reasons, but also because economically, India now offers much more fun and opportunity than some of the countries in the west (me included). My penchant with rainfall I think can be explained by this cute little thing we call climate change.

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