I am busier now, no, actually I am giving myself the illusion that I am busy. In actuality, I am just biding my time till I find something productive to do. It’s been getting colder and the monsoon is in full swing only sparing countable minutes a day for one to head out and head back in. My creativity has gotten a boost from this weather but my numb toes and freezing hands don’t allow me to think straight. This time I have, this week is to be spent getting in touch with myself before I head back into the world of work and responsibility.
I thought I’d be spending the time that I have constructively, what I am doing instead is surfing Amazon and ordering things to solve my first-world problems like a toothpaste squeezer. For some inane reason, I am excited that it’s going to arrive today. Besides splurging on more material things I’ve been looking for excuses to get out of the house and choosing to walk even in the worst weather. I guess since I’m now used to going out to work every day, staying in now seems like a stretch. Not to say I am not enjoying the break I’d just enjoy it more if my to-do lists were a bit more exciting.
Getting out in the rain is a gamble, because you know you’re going to get wet, with or without the umbrella. Mind you this is no drizzle, it’s downpour. Every morning you wake up and if you go outside you will only see menacing clouds. What’s more is that bad city planning makes for an even more disgusting monsoon because drains flood and the stench is toxic and unbearable. There was a time when monsoon used to be a blessing. Now I switch on the TV and all news channels show the same thing, big metropolitan cities drowning in heavy rains and every year it’s the same story. Either the broadcasters are playing the same footage every year, or this is the actual state of affairs.
I wonder, when the government constructs cities and drainage systems do they employ qualified people to do the job or do the politicians draw up the plans themselves? I can imagine them doodling patterns during the parliamentary sessions when they’re not sleeping and then deciding to use those same doodles to build the biggest cities in the country. I would think I am not far from the truth. This is why progress and development is only discussed during the summer every five years. If elections were held during the monsoon, forget the voter turnout, no rallies would take place, hoardings would be pointless, and politicians’ speeches would actually be two minutes long, because the rain would ruin everything. That would be the real test for them not the tropical summer, anyone would take sweat over rain any day.
I know the monsoon will last for a couple of months although where I stay rain is a regular feature throughout the year, it just becomes more frequent during these months. It’s not the fault of the rain. Better planning and preparation could solve these problems. Today as I walked along a by-lane next to an open drain, green, murky and filled to the brim because of yesterday’s rainfall I saw small houses built next to these drains, children playing in front of them. Where there could have been a pavement there is a drain.
People here complain that the government doesn’t place enough dustbins, therefore encouraging littering. An open drain is the municipality’s answer to your question, people use these drains as dustbins, no wonder when it rains all the litter comes back on to the street where people originally meant to throw their litter. See, it’s quite simple I’m pretty sure nobody flushes an empty can of Coca-Cola down a toilet, so if it is found in a street drain chances are it’s because somebody thought throwing it in an open drain is better than throwing it on the street where people would notice. Along the same lines, all waterbodies become landfills after some time.
So monsoon which was originally meant to clean and purify is now the reason for stench, dirt and muck. Before rainwater had somewhere to go, it would seep into the ground and maintain the water table or fill lakes and rivers. The earth now is covered in concrete, and lakes are either encroached or are overflowing with toxic waste. The open drains aren’t built to carry rainfall, so the water will stay where it falls and when a car zips by expect a mud bath, if you have good reflexes you’ll avoid it. If not, remember not to wear white or leather shoes.
Somebody like me, whose list of problems include squeezing the last bit of toothpaste from the tube, will circumvent the monsoon either by staying indoors or by sitting in the car that splashes mud on you. The most I have to deal with the monsoon is when I have to cover the distance between my door and the car when it rains. Today when I walked hoping that it wouldn’t rain before I got home, the real problems that come with the season struck me. It’s safe to say we’re all waiting for the star of the show to arrive. I guess the Sun is just fashionably late.