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Monday, June 29, 2020

Mumbai: Rainless Monsoon Continues…!


This year the South West Monsoon seemed to be obsessively focused on covering the whole  of India as fast as possible, and in in fact, after arriving dot on time and reaching the state of Maharashtra on 11th June, 2020 the monsoon started its journey covering region after region and finally arriving in North India 12 days earlier—thus successfully covering the full country in record time. Now, the point is about doing what it’s supposed to do, that is to say, providing the much-needed rains for the cultivation season all around. It had rained in the first days in Maharashtra in good measure helping the farming community, but later it relaxed and lapsed into a mode of fits and starts. As we pointed out in our last piece the monsoon has been kind enough to provide just one good shower to Mumbai and adjacent areas so far . The Met department noted this and made a forecast that the relaxed monsoon would be active again from 28th of June. However, this has not happened so far causing worries over its future generosity, because lack of rains in the financial capital and its catchment areas will eventually cause water supply shortage and may also lead to bouts of load shedding. Weather forecasts available to citizens are being constantly snubbed, even a 100% forecast of thunderstorm or rains is being defied by the Nature’s emissary.

So, the sweating spree in Mumbai and adjacent areas has no end in sight thus far. The temperatures are refusing of come below 27 degree Celsius while the maximum continues to be in the range of 32-34. Even the normal winds available this side vanish absolutely at most times, particularly during the nights. Humidity in the range of 80-90% is making the heat unbearable for millions who are not fortunate enough to have spacious flats and air-conditioners. The weather follows more or less the same pattern on a daily basis: clouds floating around aimlessly, not able to shun out the sun at most times, and the resultant gloomy atmosphere increases the intensity of the humid heat. There are build-ups though almost every day with dark promising clouds enveloping the sky and a cool wind providing the incentives; but finally rains stop short of falling down frustrating all expectant stakeholders. At times, rare though, you hear a grumbling thunder with occasional blasts with proper cloud cover; but again, the rains do not oblige. On all occasions the skies eventually clear up with almost every wind-less night having the ‘benefit’ of a starry sky.  

The case of Navjyot Singh Sidhu, a star Indian ex-cricketer, who was once described as a ‘stroke-less wonder’ due to his inability to convert strikes to fours and sixes comes to the mind: if we apply this to a ‘rain-less monsoon’! Soon afterwards strokes began to shower Sidhu: we hope this happens to our monsoon woes too. On a recent sun-set the sky assumed a reddish glow all over: it is not clear if it were a warning or a red alert to expect something in a severely COVID affected city and the state. We can only watch and wait. Of course, watching the skies has been becoming a bit tiring due to the resultant frustration and the streaming sweat. We can take solace only in the fact that in various monsoons in the past there had been dry months—sometimes June or sometimes July. So, time is still not running out…and all here are looking at an extended lockdown after the end of this month still...


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