Monsoon Rains – The Manna from heaven

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Monsoon – It’s that time of the year and once again, it’s time to celebrate! The heavy grey thunderclouds have blown in and the much awaited monsoon has set. Rain, in all its glory is like Manna from the heavens above and each downpour, a welcome break by the parched land. At times it’s a heavy downpour where the skies just open up with thunder and lightning and at other times it’s just a caressing drizzle, the droplets not even felt.

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Credits – Pravin Shanmughanandam

Here in Sethumadai, the entire scenario changes during the Monsoon. One shower is enough for the dry brown mountains to take on a greenish hue, and the dusty canal roads to fill up with small puddles.

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Credits – Keerthana Balaji

The morning after the rains, the air smells fresh and pure which prods one to take a deep breath and look around at life, springing anew.

Credits – Rohit Kalingarayar

There’s life in abundance, everywhere and there’s plenty to do for everybody. The coconut palms seem to be standing a little taller, the birds a little louder and the flowers a little brighter.The Bugs and beetle scurry around a little faster. Even the grazing cows seem to walk a little faster with a jaunty little step, eager to taste the fresh green grass. The Koel gets ever louder, heralding the dawn of the new season while the Peacock shimmers with his new long tail.

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Little blue kingfisher preening | Credits – Keerthana Balaji

During the day, the bright sunshine provides a welcome break for the birds that had huddled in the cold wet night to preen and dry their feathers. The ants get busy, clearing the sand that has been washed into their homes. The Termites take to their wings to perform their one chance, at the dance of life, a tempting feast for the varied birds that congregate at this unexpected winged meal.

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White throated King-fisher feeding on tertmites | Credits – Keerthana Balaji

The birds mend their nests with a little more cobweb and cotton to cushion their young ones .They feed their young ones with ardent frenzy, to quickly help them fly off before the next rain.

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Rufous tree pie feeding on tertmites | Credits – Rohit Kalingarayar

The footprints of the light birds on the dry dusty roads have been washed off to be replaced with heavy ones. Mushrooms spring up overnight, sparking a perpetual debate if edible or not.

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Little green bee eater | Credits – Keerthana Balaji

As the hot humid afternoon progresses the small birds like myna and bee-eaters splash around in the puddles.

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Garden lizard soaking in the sun | Credits – Keerthana Balaji

The chameleons and lizards sit idly, gazing unseeingly, relishing the hot sunlight on its back.

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Jayaram’s bush frog | Credits – Harishvara Venkat

At night, the croaking of the frogs reaches a crescendo, wooing the females to their side.

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Credits – Keerthana Balaji

As for the farmer, he gets ready to plough his wet field. It’s the season to sow his rain-fed crops such as groundnuts and corn for a bountiful harvest. Those of us in towns and cities it’s time to clear the roof of leaf litter, overturn bins and containers to avoid collecting water, and see that the rain water percolates into the water harvesting system. Then, sit back and enjoy this profound moment, as we are a part of this miracle. Each drop of rain a miracle, with the power to sustain a very unique planet in the entire cosmos. Rains are the miracle of life on the only planet in all the hundreds of planets and galaxies surrounding us. So conserve! As each and every drop of rain, is truly manna from the heavens.

PS – The author is drawing comparison of the rains to “Manna” – a biblical term used to describe the substance, that GOD miraculously supplied as food to the Israelites in the wilderness.

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