Promises, promises …

The days of those Olympian inter-monsoon storms are far behind us now.  As March turned to April, and now May, the heat has risen, unabated:  no rain, no cooling breezes, or fresh dewy nights.  No more delightful cool mornings on the terrace, listening to the birds and monkeys competing with the temple down the hill to provide our joyful morning chorus.

It’s ten days now since the Met Department sent out its’ warning:  the Southwest Monsoon is becoming active.  Be prepared for ‘heavy showers’, it said, a euphemism for flooding rains and landslips in the mountains.  Down here on the plains, nobody thinks of disasters.  We’re avid for the rain.

Ten days of intensifying heat, and that imperceptible rise in pressure that nonetheless contributes to national grumbling and crankiness.  Every day now we watch, ever more hopeful, as the clouds gather in the late afternoons, bruised black masses accumulating toward the west.  Or in the mornings, lethargic and leaden as we rise from our sticky sleep, we look longingly at those encouraging, lowering skies, speculating – will it be today?  Like an old tart, the monsoon taunts us with a couple of hammering strikes of thunder, a minute’s precipitation leaks from the sky, barely reaching the parched earth below, then again it turns away, insolently, like a practiced coquette.  Oh the cruelty of waiting.

Farmers attended to their final ploughing weeks ago –  Pied Pipers to flocks of canny white ibis, and fat little brown sparrows – as they turned the soil one last time, in preparation for the monsoon’s life-bringing rains.  Parched, that land will be now:  cracking and baking under the unrelenting sun.  Each day that passes the humus is being burned out of the dark rich soil, changing its character, increasing the chances of hydrophobia, putting at risk the planting season to come.

You must remember:  this is paradise.  Where it’s hot, but not too hot, where the monsoons bring invigorating rain in the afternoons, perhaps a thrilling, cooling  storm at night, where a twig plunged into moist loamy soil bears crops within the span of months. This is paradise;  except in the build up to the Southwest Monsoon.

We’re all gasping for the rain.  Waiting to be re-hydrated, to be cooled by the heavens.

28 thoughts on “Promises, promises …

    • Now what are you doing in the blogosphere instead at that little project of yours?

      Glad you’re chilly, at last. Not another peep out of you for six months! (that coincides with your academic timetable. How lovely you won’t burn up over your work) 🙂
      Glad you like the clouds …

  1. Reminds me of change of monsoon time in Seychelles – that time of bated breath and irritation, when three quarters of the year’s violent crimes occur.

  2. Wow. The thought of the monsoon arriving and washing away all that parched heat, Wanderlust: amazing. I must be really Plebian now and say it reminds me of ‘Monsoon Wedding’. Beautiful film 🙂 But I bet the monsoon’s amazing in real life.

    • Why plebeian? We look for links where we can – it makes sense to equate Monsoon Wedding (I agree, a phantasmagorical romp) with monsoons, it’s the only link you have!
      The breaking is wondrous, though not perhaps as extatically greeted here as other places where they wait even longer – and under way more extreme conditions, than we do in Sri Lanka!

  3. Beautiful photo… We are having strange and restless weather in Jamaica. And like you we are holding our breath, waiting for the hurricane season to begin. There is already something brewing in the Florida Keys… I think I know that waiting feeling. Happy monsoon when it comes!

  4. Your tales and photos make me want to move. Again. Thank you for nudging my wanderlust awake once more.

  5. Ok…I’m reading your posts backwards and you did include the monsoon clouds! Gorgeous! This post is lovely! I love how you describe the monsoons. Can’t wait to hear more!

    • Yes, there’ll have to be descriptions of Paradise back to rights – just now we’re wallowing in it …
      Glad you approved of my clouds. But I do need to get some of those black, bruised clouds that make the air look green, leaves lime – wondrous!

  6. By the way, I forgot to tell you that you are an amazing writer! Have you ever considered writing a book? you write beautifully and I love reading what you have to say. 🙂

  7. Beautifully written post. As a Farmers wife I understand the yearning for the crash of thunder and sizzle of lightning. The smell and sound of drummimg, hard rain. Also the longing and disappointment of teasing thunder and spatters of those heavy drops that disappear before they do anything.

  8. Oh lucky you! Your evocative words make it all the more harder for me to bear the heat 🙂 Our monsoons don’t start until October. We can only pray for a few borrowed drops and hope they will be enough to halt the inexorable climb of the mercury! Gorgeous photo.

    • Of course! The Western Ghats stop it. And there I was imagining you getting relief just a while after us. Poor you! I just dive under the shower when it all gets too much – perhaps you should set up an afternoon boudoir in the bathroom? A little bit of eccentricity for the few weeks before you escape to Paris. The thought police needn’t know about that, surely?

  9. “Like an old tart, the monsoon taunts us with a couple of hammering strikes of thunder, a minute’s precipitation leaks from the sky, barely reaching the parched earth below, then again it turns away, insolently, like a practiced coquette.” – love it.

    • So glad you liked it! I suppose it’s a strange simile, but I saw her a few evenings ago, while I was doing the watering, all voluptuous and beguiling, pursing her lips at me, beckoning …

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