I cannot begin to describe the despair and frustration I feel, daily, because it is so god damn hot in Mumbai, still! Yes, it’s been progressively hot since March, and there seems to be no hope in sight. The Indian Meteorological Department had predicted heavy rains, with its descent around mid-June. They were right about the date, but had no idea that the rains were going to be so scant in its arrival.
It has rained for a few days, in mid-June, and the heavenly skies have left us high and dry since the last two weeks. Mumbaikers look forward to June, when they pray and hope for relief from the scorching Indian summer, waiting for the rains to cool them down. We also depend on the rains as a major source of water, without which, the city can expect a 20% water cut on a daily basis. That’s really going to force me to re-think having my 4 showers in a day. But what can I do? It is sticky, humid, sweaty, and just plain yuck! And for how many hours in a day can you have the air conditioning on? It’s unnatural and can end up being very expensive.
For the first time in my life in Mumbai, I feel for this city. If we do not get any rains this year, it is going to create havoc. People are already edgy and irritated, having to deal with the temperatures that only keep rising. With the rains not in sight, crops and produce have gotten a lot more expensive. Staples, such as sugar and rice, are also predicted to increase in price, drastically. There is an edginess amongst the people of the city; a lot more snappiness and a little less kindness, is what I am observing, when I am out and about.
I am really scared that we may be faced with a drought situation, and so is the government, who is seriously considering cloud seeding, a very clever way of manipulating the rain. It has been done a few many times in the past, and has worked. For those who are not aware, cloud seeding is a process of artificially inseminating the clouds with a chemical that produces a kind of precipitation (either snow or rain). This might be our only resort.
Of course, when I discuss the rain situation (or lack of it, may I say), with my grandmother and elders of the family, it somehow ends up in a Biblical discussion; a lamentation of how evil and corrupt this city is turning out to be, how upset God is with us, and how this is his way of “punishing us” for our sins.
Whatever the cause, natural or supernatural, the skies need to show some benevolence on Mumbai and her people, and give us the lashing, menacing, rains that Mumbai is infamous for…..without our rains, I know that the next few months will only burn me alive.