Monday, July 31, 2017

Monsoon breaking

The monsoon season is here and how! Incessant rains for five days in Ranchi and Bankura, leading to water-logging in the streets and the rivers in spate. Release of huge volumes of water from the dams of the DVC (Damodar Valley Corporation) which in turn, floods the town of Bankura. 

We have all known the rains, the rhymes and the pitter patter and the magic of the bounty from the skies. Indians know the rains to be season of malhar. The raga Miyan Ki Malhar is known to be a creation of Tansen, a courtier and the foremost exponent of Indian classical music during the times of emperor Akbar in the 17th century. Legend has it that once the raga is sung correctly and fervently, the skies would darken and the clouds rumble, bringing down the heat after the hot and torrid summertime. The sudden rush of cool wind through the thick foliage of the jamun tree. Rains and the sound of distant thunder. 

The rain
has stilled tonight

But it was only yesterday
that the rain was pelting down

In sheets, and an angry,
howling wind

Fuming, raging
Rattling the window panes

Distraught, in despair
Tugging, tearing

at heartstrings;
And now

The wind has stilled
and so has the rain

Even though the sky
is lit up in a sullen glow


  1. We need to sing a raga over here, where we are having non stop heat waves, and where 166 forest fires have been burning since April (various numbers of fires at any one time - some have now been put out - but lots more heat to come). Whole towns have been evacuated, one after the other. I love your beautiful poem, can visualize the torrential rains, which we will experience where I live through the winter. It is always nice to see you posting, especially when there is a poem! Smiles.

    1. Thank you Sherry.
      So many forest fires! Reminds me of the coalbelt in eastern India, where underground mining has mostly been stopped due to the fires that are burning for decades and nobody seems to be able to contain them. Only recently, certain train routes have been diverted because of the danger of the railway tracks caving in sinkholes.
      Look forward to some of your winter poems!

  2. Did you know that we have a monsoon season here in the southwestern US? However, unlike in India we don't have any musical scores composed for our "plain old rain". I love the lyrical content of the Miyan Ki Malhar.
    Your poetry is lyrical and beautiful too!
    Thanks for sharing your monsoon season.

    1. Hi Rita, the rains are never just plain old rain, you know! I didn't know you have a monsoon season, but in that case, the rains must be a welcome relief from the insipid heat. In Mumbai, I have seen people happily drenching themselves in the first rains of the season, especially children who looked rather transported with absolute delight, jumping and thrashing about.
      Thank you very much Rita, for your visit to these pages and I look forward to more of your offbeat posts