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Chasing India’s Monsoon

For months there is no rain, and then there is too much.
Half the world’s people survive at the whim of the monsoon.

India
India

Good monsoons, those rain-bearing winds of Asia and the Subcontinent,  mean life and prosperity. Poor ones are marked by famine and death.

India
India
India

Monsoon History

The air is wet, soaks
into mattresses, and curls
In apparitions of smoke,
Like fat white slugs furled
Among the timber
Or silver fish tunnelling
The damp linen covers
Of schoolbooks, or walking
Quietly like centipedes,
The air walking everywhere
On its hundred feet
Is filled with the glare
Of tropical water.
Again we are taken over
By clouds and rolling darkness.
Small snails appear
Clashing their timid horns
Among the morning glory
Vines.
by Shirley Geok-lin Lim

India
India

During the year I spent following the monsoon in a dozen countries,
I learned to see it as a critically important event,  and

not the disaster it had first seemed to my Western eyes.

India

Farmers experience the monsoon as an almost religious experience as they watch their fields come back to life after
being parched for half the year. 

India
India

Only He shakes the heavens and from its
treasures takes out the winds. 
He joins the waters and the clouds and produces the rain.
He does all those things. 
– Michael Servetus (1511-1553)
Spanish theologian, physician, cartographer

India
India

“In India, monsoon is as much prose as poetry. It excites economists and equity markets as well as artists, writers, musicians. For millions of India’s farmers, the summer monsoon, which typically arrives in June and continues till September, is life and livelihood.”
– Aljazeera News

India

Rain is grace;
Rain is the sky descending to the earth …
– John Updike

India
India
Gujarat, India

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