The annual monsoons inspire poets and thinkers, bring joy to millions of people and sustain India’s agrarian economy. But monsoon-triggered floods also kill hundreds of people each year, devastate swathes of farmland and bring untold misery across states. What makes the rains both beautiful and terrifying?
In those simpler times, bullfrogs croaking to monsoon rains were an unending cause for entertainment and curiosity that is sadly lacking in the big city.
It is this same dust that found its way to Nini Lungalang, an extraordinary Naga poet who wrote Dust, a poem that delicately and powerfully invokes in 40 sparse lines, the historical and sociological contours of the Naga world.
Rain brings the wet smell of earth pervading the house and the dampness of the pages of the book being read. An introspection on the effect of rain on amplifying simple everyday experiences, from reading, listening to ghazals, and eating certain foods to even one’s physical appearance.
The Indian season of rain is made for music and merrymaking and mating, in that order.
In the Northeast, where it rains round the year, the arrival of the monsoons barely registers in the psyche of the people. Not this time though.
Due to lack of operational rules and effective warning systems, dams are actually aggravating floods
Monsoons are the life of nature. They might evoke a sweet thought, a texture for the artist, deep-fried pakoda for the olfactory senses, kadak chai as a faithful companion. But for many in India, rain brings nothing but fury.
Unlike world cinema, where rains relay a perceptible fact, Indian cinema uses rain as a manifestation of inner truth and vivid emotions.
In India, the monsoon is not merely yet another season, it’s a cultural phenomenon. And it is of matchless historical importance in the world of Indian music.
Stories become more believable though, when told in writing by one of the greatest Hindi writers Bihar has ever produced. Phanishwar Nath Renu documents the flood of 1967 and other stories of water in his remarkable nonfiction 'Rinjal Dhanjal'.
This issue is an ode to that raindrop. There are stories from that place called ‘inside out’, where absence and presence collide and become a song of love and loss. That’s what the rains do. They make us see.
From soft-focus romance to lament and critique, there’s a poem about the rain for every mood.
Rains give life. But not even the most tenacious lives are the same. And they all begin from fragility. Our bodies, delicate as eggs, are stepped over by life, leaving their mark in pain.
Once, as the fable goes, the rains stood up the people of Anantapur. Maybe the monsoon died in transit. That's when people tried the age-old practices of enticing water-ridden clouds.
An exhibition explores the emotive world of Bangladeshi photojournalist and activist Shahidul Alam’s photographs. Some of these photographs are haunting while others capture glimpses of a world that exists but often remains unseen.
Mumbai-based artist Manish Nai whose works have been exhibited worldwide says, 'I don't think of any message that art might convey. Any message the onlooker might interpret out of the art is a blessing. '