Bengaluru monsoons: Not so gentle anymore!

The Big Bang-aluru Theory

Pic: Shreenidhi D S

There is one thing to be said for the Bengaluru monsoons – it pulls down the curtains on the city and puts you back into the float of your memories. If you wade through the waterlogged streets during the rains, you at least need not see the crowds, smell the traffic or taste the garbage.

You just have to squint through your half-shut eyes as you walk under a straggly umbrella in the pouring rains and understand that this year, the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagar Palike has not undertaken the recharge that you did not expect it to pursue, anyway. Not yet, at least. It hasn’t even laid the ground for some infrastructure that you thought had been bad, but then got worse and finally was found to have never even been there.

This year, the rains got furious because they were neglected. The BBMP did not prepare to welcome or battle them. Even after the downpour, there were a number of band aid fixes rather than large-scale dredging or sealing off of storm-water drains.

So every other day, at least, the rains are pouring. If you are upset that your clothes weren’t brought in before the rains began, you can turn to the Met Department’s announcement that described the monsoons as balmy and benevolent to console yourself.

The Met Department also found the culprit that committed the crime of letting loose bad monsoons into the city: Two troughs. One trough ran, frightened, from the South Madhya Maharashtra across Coastal Karnataka to Lakshadweep, while another cool trough extended from Jharkhand across Odisha, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu, right up to Comorin.

If you ask how these far-off phenomena remote-controlled the rains in the city, then you need to do a background check. Remember the icebergs melting in the Artic Circles that made the sweaty Indian team lose cricket matches? Or the plastic trash in the ocean beds that caused diarrhea in Mangaluru and West Bengal? Or how meteoric crashes led to the outbreak of acne on your daughter’s face? That’s exactly how the troughs created the Bengaluru rains.

Still, you need to concede that turning to meteorological announcements makes good sense. Look at some recent announcements, for instance. One of them explains that both Bengaluru Urban and rural subdivisions are undergoing “excess rains to the tune of 33 and 28 percent, respectively. With more rains in the offing, the percentage is only expected to witness an increase.”

Okay, so that is true. But then, why is the headline of that news item so happy about it? And so contradictory to the content that seemed upset at the excessive rains? The happy headline says that “Good Bengaluru Rains To Continue, Pleasant Weather To Remain” in its September 5th blog post. That is puzzling. Good rains? Pleasant weather? What are those? You don’t find them in the report. Where are they?

You need to stretch your mind a little, and concede that in spite of the ominous warnings and memories of the excessive floods during this year’s Independence Day, which deprived 1890 of that proud record, the monsoons in Bengaluru have always been more gentle, breezy and soft than in other cities. They cannot lose their reputation of being Bengaluru monsoons, symbolising the laid back, typical resident. Those are the good and pleasant rains.

Hence, even though Bengaluru’s apartment basements got sunk into bunds, swilling streets looked like TV file shots of the Bihar floods and the noise of the rains was a continuous patter, the next day they all just became an unpleasant dream. Every year, the rains go on a ‘pause’ break from dawn till evening to help the city resume its unplanned chaos.

That is surely because Bengaluru never continues with heavy downpours beyond a point, so they do not grab attention – breaking news or otherwise. Two days after bad news, the monsoons get blanked out like a lot of other news items that stop being interesting after they are no longer bad.

About Revathi Siva Kumar 2 Articles
Revathi Siva Kumar is a freelance writer based in Bengaluru.

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