May 24, 2017

Welcome Monsoon

[Img Src : Wikipedia]
There is welcome news about an early and better monsoon this year. Last few days we have been getting our evening showers in Bangalore. Despite the infrastructure woes, I usually find myself happy when it rains. Uprooted trees and this news item about parakeets dampened my spirits considerably this morning though.

I had thought to refrain from commenting on the much-ridiculed 'experiment' involving evaporation and Thermocol from some weeks ago.  This was despite having to go through a lot of ribbing from friends owing to the incident happening near my hometown. There actually are some experiments proving that Thermacol [which is a trade name apparently] do inhibit evaporation to a small extent. Needless to say, the execution at Vaigai dam was ill-thought, to put it mildly. It's a classic display of shoddy [the sheets looked like some ten-year-olds stuck them together], careless [ no notice of the wind patterns and the surface area involved], and half-baked [even if it had stayed put where they going to measure the results in some way] execution that one often encounters. Rigor doesn't seem to come naturally to us.  I wondered why the minister personally was there. If not for the fiasco, I suppose it'd have made it easy for accounting later.

But I could understand the desperation behind the action. The part that I have retained the most from my short-lived farming days is the worry and urgency with which we tried various methods to harvest water.  Until then I had not been so painfully conscious of the amount of rainfall in a particular place and time. Rain until then was associated with romance, not returns.

We looked to cut water channels, I became aware of the wonderful world of mulches, we dug ditches and measured the amount of rainfall year after year often with growing gloom. In one interesting attempt, I remember we recycled used cement bags by placing them on the ground of the water harvest pond [ditch?] to slow down seepage. Neighboring farms went all out and covered their ditches with gleaming black tarp sheets.

Some of the residual emotions from that experience did come through in my second novel. The outsider view of Josh unexpectedly coming up close to the plights of farmers was inspired to some extent by personal experience. I too got burnished a bit from my exposure to farming.

Here's to a good monsoon.

May 24, 2017