Ah, the rains and the pains

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Pittering and pattering, the rain has finally arrived at our doorsteps. And in our living rooms if we forgot to shut windows! Worst of all, it has entered into our shoes and socks. And these don’t dry out that fast. But this is no complaint box article. I love the rain as much as the next person. I’m not totally sure how much the next person loves the rain, so this is mere conjecture.

The monsoon season is a time when emotions move their fastest. From relief (from the heat) to wonder (at how clean everything now looks) to panic (dude, where’s my raincoat?) to disgust (what’s with the traffic, man!). It’s amusing to say the least. Over the course of the monsoon, the general outlook is that of worry… will my clothes dry in time to make it to work? Should I carry a spare set of clothes and socks every day? Is my bag waterproof? How long can I sit with wet underwear? The last question is actually one of endurance. Don’t try this at home!

With this much doom and gloom about the rains in general, I fail to understand the excitement surrounding it. Yes, I was part of the recent song-and-dance that followed the first couple of days’ rain, but now, I’m back to reality. You see, I got wet recently. And it wasn’t pleasant.

The rain also brings with it other problems. New potholes surface (?) where none existed previously. It throws your driving/riding judgements totally off gear, no? I mean, you know where your daily potholes are. You deftly circumvent these without even looking anymore. But in the rains, you may dodge one and land in another. Oi! It demands re-learning your daily route. Small price to pay, though, for all the glories of the rain.

One truly positive outcome of the rains has to be the dam situation. Water fills into it and soon, we shall have drinking water again. Some overzealous politician will then make water available for 8 or 12 or even 24 hours (as against the current 3-4 hours) only to revert to the old formula once he realizes that we’re using it faster that the rain can fill up the dams. Aila! About this whole dam situation… how many of us truly know how much water 1 TMC is? To be honest, I don’t even know what it really means. The metric should be transformed to reflect the amount of water as a standard bucket of about 10 litres.

Headlines in newspapers, then, should read thus: Khadakwasla dam receives 24 lakh buckets of rain. Erandwane and Kothrud residents can bathe on Wednesday and Thursday. Bad luck for Wakad; to continue to receive 10 lakh glasses per day only.

See, the above is relatable. I know how much water fits into a bucket and a glass. Now I can plan accordingly. (Thankfully, I don’t live in Wakad!).

A further existential question is: How many of us truly understand how much rain is 11.4mm. I mean… is it 11.4mm deep or wide or tall? Is it the size of the drop? Or the size of the splatter after it drops? So why do we get excited by the numbers printed in every morning’s paper? We know 44mm is better than 22mm. This is truly a case where size does matter. But again, I demand that the metric be revised to tell us in layman’s language. “Pune receives 4,45,322 buckets of rain”. Or “Pune receives enough rain to submerge half of PMC”. Both these metrics are understandable. The second is even desirable, but more on that some other time!

(Just to share that I’m not totally ignorant, I do know that there is a science behind the measurement of rain. I just don’t get it. Like much of what Newton or Einstein said or did.)

So while we continue to jump with boundless energy about the onset of the monsoon, let us introspect. How much do we really know? You could also introspect while you get wet. It’s oddly philosophical. Just ‘rein’ in your thoughts…

Photo courtesy: Tosha Chitrodia

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