A warm welcome to Monsoon
Dharamsala (Tibet.Net): This summer has been exceptionally hot all over India, with the heat wave taking a heavy toll of lives of thousands of people. Reports of delayed monsoon further exacerbated the situation with many looking out for ways to escape what one journalist has aptly described as ‘ the inferno’. For many of the well-to-do families, hill stations became the favourite destination to get some respite from the heat, but the poor peasants relied on spiritual miracles by invoking gods to call for the quick arrival of the monsoon rain.
In Dharamsala, the prolonged spell of hot and dry summer has left many worried. Long dry summer means serious problems of water shortage. For the residents here, this remains the most worrisome issue. Through the years, with a certain change in the weather pattern, the availability of drinking water has decreased considerably. And this summer is no different. A cautionary letter has already been circulated by the Health Department of the Central Tibetan Administration to the staff to use water sensibly. In Mcleod Gunj, restaurant owners and the residents have started buying water on regular basis brought in tankers. With the dreadful thought of the glaciers (the source of water here) melting faster than usual and the discomfort of spending hot lazy days, people here, like in rest of the country, have of late started wishing for the monsoon to hit soon.
Till yesterday late afternoon 16 June, this seemed like a wishful thinking with the days continuing to be exceptionally hot and dry. The first pre-monsoon shower occurred much to the relief and surprise of the people here. Four hours of pelting rain washed the whole hill town, cooling the air and bringing smile on everyone’s face. Streams of gurgling muddy water flowed through every hole and crevice draining the whole place clean. When asked whether it is really the monsoon we are having, one beaming Tibetan bureaucrat responds quickly, “no doubt about that because the element of surprise is clearly there.” He succinctly described Dharamsala’s monsoon which is considered very unpredictable.
Now that this north westerly monsoon is here, its story will continue for the next few months. As a Chinese saying goes, fish and guest start stinking after three days, the monsoon too will see itself stinking and wished by the people never to have arrived. However, as of now, it is most needed and warmly welcomed. Tashi Tsering who lives in Mcleod Gunj thinks his neighbours will now not have to wait in line for water in front of the public tap in the middle of the Mcleod Gunj street.