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Sciences

Jul 21, 2003
A tryst with monsoons

The monsoon is inseparable from India and its moods, arts and prosperity. India courts the fickle lover year and after year, pines for him and bears with his frequent perfidies. And in a year he arrives with his bounties, all land is in dance.

2003 is such a year. After many years of uneven monsoon, this year is said to be nearly full all over India. The most heartening news is that Rajasthan --that state with people of majestic dignity-- has had torrential rains after 8 years of drought.

For farmers, the summer --kharif-- crop is now an assured success. There is bound to be more money in their pockets. Manufacturers of goods await with bated breath for the festive season set to begin in late August. The stock market has begun a bull run. The Prime Minister and the Finance Minister have declared themselves satisfied that it is a ‘good monsoon’, as though it were not apparent to Indians.

Was it apparent to the Indian Meteorological Department [IMD] , though? They are being ribbed good naturedly for getting it wrong. But only slightly, it would seem. The techniques used --and continually refined-- by IMD and a few other centres in India are some of the most sophisticated in the world. Assisted by India’s remote sensing satellites, super-computers and complex algorithms scientists render an oracular service to the nation. But catching a cloud and pinning it down to weigh it is not easy.

Now that the rains have arrived in plenty, let’s set aside these controversies and watch the smiles all around. And may be plan a trip to Rajasthan later this year; it should be more colourful than it usually is, if that were possible.

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