The Monsoon

In November my sister came to visit for the first time. She appeared to enjoy everything. She said, "It's so exciting -- my first monsoon!" I said, "But you get more rain in Boston than we do." She said, "Yes, but it's not called a monsoon."

I could have said that it was my first monsoon too, in the sense that during this monsoon season we have had, and are having, more rain than anyone has seen or recalled. Fifteen months worth of drinking water released from the reservoirs, because they threatened to overflow!

A couple of years ago I entered NaNoWriMo - National Novel Writing Month. My novel was called Waiting for the Monsoon. The main character's life, internally and externally, was full of dryness and thirst. In the climax, a cyclone hit. The character had to rescue someone whose house was threatened by floods (all imaginary, before the tsunami and the current rains); finally the main characters gathered together, safe inside while the storm raged, internal thirst and the land's both quenched. (I never finished it; lost faith in it.)

Instead of a climactic cyclone, we're having storm after storm, and they all have names, suddenly, so that they seem to be bringing their wind and water with malice - Pyarr and Baaz and Fanoos; and, currently, Mala.

We are okay, except for continuous electricity breakdowns and a tree in the garden fallen because of sodden earth; but people in low-lying areas are in a bad way. And twice in the last several weeks there have been stampedes at relief centres, where more people died - 42 or so yesterday - than have died because of the storms.

Yesterday Mary told me that someone had told her that a statue of some god somewhere, in some temple, had suddenly opened one eye, and that's why this whole year has been full of disaster. It's an interesting concept: people are always calling on god for something or the other, but when he/she wakes up and pays attention, things become very, very dangerous.

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