Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Monsoon in Delhi

It rained in our area today. Monsoon had hit Delhi a few days ago, on 28th June, to be precise. Personnel at the Metereological Department said that it was one day early. But there wasn't even a slight drizzle in our 'labour class area' till yesterday night. Yesterday night there were stars in the sky, vivid and bright. There was cool breeze. And as usual, I slept on the terrace, like many other tenants in the apartment. They are manual labourers who easily adapt to any living conditions. And then, today early morning it rained. I withdrew to my room at the corner of the apartment which has holes, which have width of a brick, on the walls instead of windows. The room reeks with warm vapour always.

Last week one of my friends in JNU, with whom I often spend my weekends, invited me for our routine discussion over a beer. I replied him, "Dosth (friend), I am not free this weekend. Monsoon may hit our 'labour class area' too in a day or two. If that happens, I will sleep for the whole Sunday." Rain has always been associated with good sleep. That is a typical Malayali behaviour, right?

I keep records of my daily expenses now. I have never done that in my life. Life is so cheap in our area. I got a room for just Rs.1000/- plus water charges of Rs.30/- per month in addition to electricity charges. Water is pumped to the storage tank at 5 in the morning. When the motor runs, I store one bucket full of water for bath and a bottle full of drinking water for the day. In summer, collecting water for bath in the morning is very important since the water stored in the tank on the terrace will get terribly hot during the day. It remains to be hot even in the next morning. June 8th and 9th were the hottest days in this summer. The temperature rose upto 44.9o C on one of these days. Hearing that I wake up at 5 in the morning to collect water, one of my friends in JNU quipped: "Every experience is now there with you to write a story."

Rain wreaked havoc in many Indian states this season too. Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Gujarat and Maharashtra were the most affected. Northeastern states were also flooded, as always. Mumbai Municapal Corporation had taken great precautions to take on the monsoon this season. But water logged roads and floods gave the lensmen a good catch for their daily beats in this season too. Perhaps the only people who are happy about floods are the journalists. We know that everyone loves a good drought.

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