Why is the monsoon rains such a welcome relief to almost all Indians? In spite of the waterlogged roads after a heavy shower, in spite of the discomfort of carrying a water-drenched umbrella, and in spite of occasionally catching the cold, sneezing, and fever, we love rains in every city in India, especially in Kolkata.
The mercury starts going up immediately after the winter in Kolkata, and in a few weeks, the sweltering heat becomes unbearable. High humidity in Kolkata makes everyone feel tired and devoid of all energy. Wistfully the citizen looks up towards the sky and checks out the weather forecast for any chance of a nor’wester in the afternoon.
These days summer heat is unforgiving and Kolkata residents look forward to the advent of the rains every day of the summer days. As soon as June comes, the expectation rises with every passing day.
Finally, the announcement from the IMD about the arrival of the monsoon in Kerala makes everyone happy. Monsoon is very important for India; from the farmers to traders, fishermen to businessmen, the men in the street to corporate honchos, everyone heaves a sigh of relief if the monsoon is expected to be normal. A deficient monsoon can ravage the economy.
Greener City, Cooler Temperatures
Officially, monsoon rains arrive in Kolkata around 9th June but it often arrives late these days. And when it arrives every blade of grass, every plant, the foliage in trees starts getting greener and new sprouts appear. The majestic Kolkata Maidan begins to look greener as much as every public garden in Kolkata, be it Victoria Memorial or the Agri-Horticultural Garden.
Landscaped gardens, lawns in the gated complexes get a new sign of life. The day temperature drops, and the nights are even cooler and comfortable. The air conditioners, after a high-performance spell in the summer, often take a much-deserved rest.
An Occasional Rainy Day
The monsoon rains are especially loved by children who occasionally look forward to a day of heavy showers, waterlogged streets, and a rainy day.
Even office-goers secretly look forward to a rainy day or two in the season when they can bunk office and spend time with hot tea or coffee, telebhaja, and Netflix.
The culturally inclined Bengalis take the opportunity to listen to Tagore songs. There are a good number of them based on monsoon rains. Moreover, who can forget 22she Shravan, the death anniversary of Rabindranath Tagore?
Waterlogging in Kolkata
Waterlogging of streets is a never-ending problem in all Indian cities, especially in Kolkata. Life becomes quite difficult for office-goers as the streets are flooded with after a sharp shower.
Although the situation has improved in the recent past, yet a very heavy rainfall means waterlogged streets in Kolkata. Some areas are particularly vulnerable and remain waterlogged for 2-3 days too.
Nevertheless, Kolkata citizens have taken the perennial problem in their stride and have accepted them as part of life.
The Fish Market Buzz on Hilsa
There is one massive reason why the monsoon is truly loved by every Bengali, and that is the fish market buzz. Bengalis have a romance with Hilsa which makes its presence felt during this season.
The tastiest Hilsa is captured in drizzling rains, ilsheguri brishti, and the fish crazy Bengalis go in raptures as they arrive in the fish markets. In spite of the price of the fish going up in leaps and bounds every year, there is no sign of Bengalis’ love for the fish decreasing.
Any urban discomfort of the rains is worth it because it is the best time to get the best Hilsa fish.
Waiting for the Autumn and Durga Puja
Rains come with a lot of hope in India. There is the hope of a good harvest and a boost to the rural economy. There is also the hope of reduced inflation on the prices of agricultural goods.
A good monsoon boosts the economy and in such a scenario, there is hope for celebrating Durga Puja with all fanfare and glory. With money in pocket, people can afford to spend more on shopping, especially clothes, food, and home décor.
If there is a deficiency of rains in any year, the disastrous effect persists for a long time beyond the rainy season.
Even in the urban areas, rains bring welcome relief after the sweltering heat of the ruthless Indian summer. It is pleasing to the eyes as nature dresses up in verdant greens.
We hope to have another year with a normal monsoon this year too.