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Sunday, 10 July 2011

The Monsoons - Emma

Hey all. I’m going to wax briefly poetic in this entry and I beg forgiveness in advance.
The monsoons started a few days ago, and I don’t have any relevant pictures.  None of the ones I took were good enough.  The rains had been teetering on the edge of release for my entire stay in Ahmedabad thus far, but hadn’t come.  The odd dryness lent, I realize in retrospect, an aura of anxiety and tightened lips to the entire city.  Without the rains, the year cannot progress.  Without the rains, the city could not move forward. It is thus with excitement and joy that they were met when they finally began. 
The rain wasn’t the torrential buckets of water I was told to expect but it flooded the streets in minutes anyway, forcing walkers to wade through impromptu lakes and turning cars into ad hoc boats.  The clouds rolled overhead in great cataracts of grey.  It was awesome in the biblical sense. 
this is the best picture I got.  It is still inadequate

       The thing, however, that had the greatest impact on me was the juxtaposition of the water against the the city.  Ahmedabad has sprung into a truly urban environment only in the past thirty years or so.  A city of advertisements, concrete, and cars, it is modern and intensely so - even if it appears to Western eyes to be a bit delayed in that modernity. Seeing the rain (this primeval torrent of water, this persistent pattern which provided the constrictions by which India, both modern and ancient, was formed) stream into the city was a sort of stark reminder that even in the midst of the 21st century, the rains are the rains are the rains are the rains (as Gertrude Stein might posit).  The rains are the past and the present and the gateway to the future.

In the meantime, however, they are the harbinger of bugs.

1 comment:

  1. Bugs? What kind of bugs?
    Actually, Emma, your photo is WONderful....and your description even better.

    Ana's G'ma