July 25, 2003


It is the wind system that dominates the climate of South Asia and the area around the Indian Ocean. The word �monsoon� is derived from the Arabic word �mawsim� which means �seasons�. The monsoon cycle is believed to have started about 12 million years ago with the uplift of the Himalayas.

During the summer season, a center of low pressure develops over the western part of India because of the intense heating of the landmass, while high pressure develops over the relatively cool Indian Ocean. This pressure difference causes the wind to flow from the high pressure area to low pressure area, which is from ocean to land in this case. As a result, the summer monsoon winds brings enormous amount of moisture, causing heavy rainfall in the subcontinent, especially in Bangladesh and neighboring states of India.

Now, it is the monsoon season in Bangladesh. Barsha (monsoon) is the most dominating season in Bangla literature, particularly in poetry. Today it rained almost all day although a bit infrequently. And when it rains in Dhaka, it pours. Sometimes it continues for a couple of days. Not a brisk drizzle like what you get in England. Streets in city side low areas soon got inundated with water above the toe because of the clogged drains. I was going to a city side region but could not go after a point where the water level was already up to the exhaust pipe of my car. I stopped by a house in that region hoping that the rain will stops and the water level will decrease. But it kept on pouring. The scene of the rain was quite wonderful looking from the verandah. But I had to get back and was deprived of that natural beauty.

As I am posting this I am contemplating on the otherside of the beauty of rain. The deep shadow of the rainy july is the flood that beckons. Excess of everything is always bad. Excessive rain is threatening Bangladesh again generating a massive flood. Many rivers are flowing above the danger mark. Here is a poem telling about the strains of a soul using monsoon rain as metaphor.

"Tears pour upon my battered soul
Rain, washing life's blood
Heaping rain
Upon my brow
Stained with misery and pain
Humanity crying out
Save me from this wrenched stance
Of water everywhere
Society torn asunder from thy throes
How much can humanity bear
Nature out of control
Placing despair and cold
Life's warmth dripping from my soul. "

� Maria Reed-Shore


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