Bangladesh Slideshow

11 August, 2011

Rain Rain

The sky is overcast with clouds and the rain is ceaseless.

It is the Monsoon season in Bangladesh and the skies have well and truly opened up over the past few days. We get 80 percent of our annual rainfall during this season (the Bengali calendar months of Ashar and Srabon begin mid-June and end in mid-August) so this isn’t a surprise really.

We love the monsoon. It brings a welcome respite from the intolerable summer heat. It irrigates our crop fields and breathes new life into flora and fauna. This is the season which Bengali poets have written most about. Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore is often called the ‘Monsoon Poet’. See how vividly he describes the rain:

Sullen clouds are gathering fast over the black fringe of the forest...
The crows with their dragged wings are silent on the tamarind branches, and the eastern bank of the riveris haunted by a deepening gloom…
The sky seems to ride fast upon the madly rushing rain; the water in the river is loud and impatient…
The road to the market is desolate; the lane to the river is slippery.
The wind is roaring and struggling among the bamboo branches like a wild beast tangled in a net.
(Rainy Day)


We have monsoon songs and monsoon dances. It is traditional to stage a “Borsha Boron” program - welcoming the monsoon.

With the advent of dark rain clouds, peacocks start their courtship rain-dance.

Children also have great fun in the rain.

As do dogs :-)

We have monsoon flowers (Kodom).

And monsoon food - fried hilsha and fried aubergine, served with khichuri.


Of course, on the other side of the beauty lurks the dark side of Monsoon.

Waterlogged roads.

Floods caused by overflowing rivers.

Landlides.

Heightened misery of slum-dwellers.

And as heavy showers continue to lash the towns and villages, waterborne diseases raise their ugly head, with children falling the easiest victims.

But despite the hardships, rain clouds touch a happy note in our hearts. Parents lovingly name their children after the rain (Brishti) and even the floods (Bonna). The beauty of rain is truly a sight to behold.

So I sing: Let it Rain. Let it Rain. Let it Rain.

(Most of the photos in this post are mine, but some I took from various sites on the internet.)