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Monsoon Rains in India

August 12, 2012

When I think of monsoon season, it is always with fondness. Monsoon period reminds me of Pune in Maharashtra, India; of staying indoors at FTII’s girl’s hostel where I lived for sometime as FTII student, drinking a cup of newly boiled tea with my classmate and best friend Dipti Bhalla of New Delhi. We used to read together, discuss and/or alternately read and study the writings of J. Krishnamurti. Monsoon rains there had always been for me equivalent to calmness; the drizzling rains had always been soothing for me. I loved to watch the pouring rains from my room. Pune is about 560 meters above sea level and therefore, would imaginably not give way to flooding. I remember the big river [Mutha River?] near Laksmi Rd. where rain waters flow; Ganapati Festival procession always ends there in the evening. Remotely in my mind, I can still hear the people chanting “Ganapati bappa morya..” [Hail Lord Ganesh]. The statues of Ganesh bear the head of an elephant.

My idea of monsoon has always been that of goodness, until recently when some parts of Manila, only approx. 26 meters above sea level submerged a few days back because of giant waves. It gives me goosebumps when I think of the inconvenient truth that one day, Pasay City in Metro-Manila where I live would sink to oblivion – the worst scenario that I can imagine. Not in my lifetime definitely but the great possibility is there, unless the government move quickly into the direction of protecting the city and its citizenry. Unless, we the citizens ourselves do something to protect our environment. Something may still be done about the flooding to prevent the sinking of the cities in Luzon by at least easing the tons of garbage that clog our waterways, respect urban planning rules, listen to Architect Palafox’s recommendations made years ago about them…

The recent monsoon here enhanced by Typhoon Gener brought heavily laden habagat clouds with rains that greatly poured, drowned, and wiped away many houses not only in Manila in the National Capital Region but in many provinces in Luzon. The weather condition brought me anxiety, and fear for the greatly affected victims, especially those living near the rivers.

The image of monsoon for me has drastically changed.

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