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June, 2009:

The heat is on the rains

India is now looking for a dark cloud in every silver lining as the fear of a failed monsoon looms large on the horizon.

Panic has already set in over a nation that doesn’t require much to push it into such a state as people are sweating copiously in a cumulus conflation of fear and anxiety.

Every conversation or interaction today has to somehow involve a reference to the seemingly failing monsoon.

Patient: Doctor, I have a constant ache in my stomach and I feel constipated.

Doctor: Don’t worry, even the rains are struggling to come out these days. Anyway, to be safe, we will have an MRI scan of your kidney and all those working in the meteorological department. If need be, we will do a chemotherapy on the weather bulletin.

Patient calls for an ambulance to get him out of the hospital so that he can survive the emergency.

The point is everyone is overcome by tension and tumult due to the fact monsoon has gone missing in action. News channels and newspapers are already edgy and are desperately scanning anything that falls from above as to whether it was sent down by a rain-bearing cloud. Alas, for them only bird droppings have come their way. To their credit, it is with such stuff they have been breaking news.

The situation is bound to get worse if the monsoon continues to be mon‘late’, as it were.

If the thing persists for long there will be a rain of intriguing events, some of which are:

The Indian Meteorological Department says monsoon will be near normal. Not even a passing shower is witnessed for the next twenty days.

Sonia Gandhi, as the chairperson of UPA, writes to the Government to announce a relief package for the benefit of farmers.

Karunanidhi writes a poem extolling the beauty and charm of rains by criticising Brahmins and other Aryan forces. Vairamuthu writes a poem praising Karunanidhi’s poem. Karunanidhi thanks Vairamuthu in verse form by lashing out at Brahmins.

Karnataka Legislative Assembly passes an unanimous resolution banning the showing of meteorological reports of Karnataka in Tamilnadu.

Supporters of Dravida Kazhagam are arrested in the border town of Dharmapuri for trying to burn effigies of Mysore Bonda and Mysorepa.

IPL Commissioner Lalit Modi announces a Ten-10 cricket tournament involving 640 teams in a round-robin league format to help raise funds for monsoons. M S Dhoni, who is leading Jharkhand Jets A created a ruffle in the press conference by lining up all the doctors in India to prove that he was not injured.

The Central government comes out with a comprehensive relief package for farmers. The package, among other things, promises credit cards (named Kissan Kash) and free supply of Axe deodorant for the needy agriculturists. ‘The body spray will help them remain fresh even when they are not able to work in the farm. The Kissan Kash will help them to tide over the crisis of credit while shopping in the malls that have come up all over the agricultural lands,’ said Sharad Pawar in his capacity as a well-known agriculturist, before heading to Brussels for the meeting of the BCCI.

The Indian Meteorological Department says monsoon will be near normal. Twenty people are killed in Rajasthan as they had been living without water for the last twenty years.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh applauds Sonia Gandhi, who is the patron saint of the UPA government, for being the brain behind the comprehensive ‘Farm Finance’ package.

Karunanidhi sends a letter tied on a pigeon’s leg to the President, the Prime Minister and the Chief Post Master General to ensure proper rainfall to all the Tamils living world over.

As rain Gods play truant the Central government mulls banning the shoot of Manirathnam movies so that the water needs of two continents could be salvaged. A government spokesperson said that songs in Mani’s movies are shot only in the backdrop of rains. On an average 560980 lakh gallon, roughly the capacity of Pacific Ocean, is required for one-day’s shoot. Manirathnam and monsoon were both unavailable for comment.

BJP leaders blame each other for the failure of monsoon, especially in the Hindi heartland. The Hindu writes a seven lakh-worded editorial saying that monsoon’s non-appearance is a clear rejection of divisive Hindutva politics.

The Indian Meteorological Department says monsoon will be near normal. Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh will evaporate from the map in the face of extreme wave conditions when temperature touches 180 degree Fahrenheit.

Residents of a small village in Uttar Pradesh try to marry off an ant to elephant based on a local belief that such a wedding can lead to rains. ‘If the elephant and ant can have conjugal relationship it will surely bring us copious rainfall,’ said the village sarpanch who solemnised the wedding in the presence of roughly 20,000 TV cameras.

Kannadiga activists, led by Vattal Nagaraj, went on the rampage damaging all the breeze flowing towards Tamilnadu from Karnataka. Karnataka legislators meanwhile said that their State would not give air to Tamilnadu.

Actor Sathyaraj hits out at actor Rajnikanth for having born in Karnataka. ‘If he is to be considered a true Tamil he must cancel his birth in Bangalore and try to get rebirth here in Tamilnadu,’ Sathyaraj, who is a hardcore rationalist, said, before heading for a duet with a young heroine from Mangalore. In a related development, a team from Tamil filmdom led by Bharathiraja, led a protest march to Ooty against Karnataka. Rajnikanth meanwhile issued two statements: The first, blasting Karnataka and urging the Tamils to wage a war against Karnataka. The second statement was a clarification that he didn’t issue the first one.

Lalit Modi, addressing a crowded press conference in Cheerapunjee, said Five-5 league, involving 5600 teams in home and away matches over 650 days, would be organised to help raise money for all those suffering from drought of cricket and rain. The ICC chief, meanwhile, in a press release said finding 650 days in a year for the tournament would be difficult. In another related development, actors Ganja Karuppu and Muthukalai, the only two actors without any franchise ownership of cricket teams, bought the Villivakkam (II Street) Vultures and Manapakkam (5th Cross Road) Monkeys respectively.

Manmohan Singh government announces free passport and visa scheme for agriculturists so that they can do farming in foreign countries.
The BJP accuses Pakistan-based terrorists of hijacking India-bound rain-bearing clouds.

Karunanidhi turns up unannounced at Anna Arivalayam in the dead of night and says that he will not drink even a single drop of water for the next 30 seconds. This, he said, was to pressure Centre to send rainfall to all the Tamils, including those who are all dead. Only Dayanidhi Maran’s face was visible all through Karunanidhi’s press conference.

In the backdrop of heightening drought conditions Kapil Sibal announced that government was planning to scrap all colleges, schools and the entire education system as they were causing trauma to all concerned.

The Indian Meteorological Department says monsoon will be near normal, even as the department’s office was reduced to ashes in the fire triggered by heat wave sweeping the entire country. It is learnt that the IMD had predicted rains for India as it had mistaken the map of Amazon forests for that of India’s.

Monsoon appears and but Manirathnam was still to be spotted.

(This is a copy of my weekly column for the publication)