Waiting For Rain

by Michelle

Jack, by Sulaika D'Souza

Is Jack waiting for rain, or for a rival to wrestle in the tree-lined esplanades of Bandra? This evocative portrait is taken by Sulaika D’Souza from Mumbai, where the temperature today in Colaba was 35 degrees, with humidity as high as 94 percent. The sea breeze brings a respite from the heat, but contributes to the sticky moisture.

The Indian Ocean monsoon is caused by a seasonal shift in winds from ocean to land. Monsoon rain is vital for rice, sugarcane, soya beans, corn and other crops so the meteorological forecasts are followed by farmers, analysts and traders. The deluge often brings with it destruction to property and lives; disruption to transportation and industry, keeping the pumping stations at Haji Arli and Irla in overdrive. In 2005 more than three hundred people died. The slum colony in Vikroli was one of the worst affected places. Waves as high as five metres were measured from the coastline, where people flocked to witness nature’s freak incident. The monsoon makes an appearance in the Andamans in mid May, before reaching the coast of Kerala, arriving in Mumbai by June.

In Sydney, the Autumn skies are clear and crisp, the deciduous trees burning crimson and gold as their leaves twist and tumble. They bounce and ricochet from the tyres of passing cars. There’s not much rain here either. It’s a commonly held belief that rain washes away microbes from the air we breathe. Old people pray for rain to clear up their wheezy chest infections. For now, leaves are pasted to my windscreen; the eaves, drains and curbs are overflowing with leaves.