Continued from here..

Writing in this reminiscent vein, The Man from Madras Musings is also reminded of various attempts at bringing rain to the city. The year that saw the hand pump arrive at MMM household was a particularly bad one and it was even rumoured that the city would be evacuated. Then came the announcement that the Russians (or was it the Americans? Not that this made a difference, as we were non-aligned anyway) had been invited to try something called cloud seeding. MMM had visions of men going up in the air and causing clouds to form. It was said that they would spray a chemical which would make the clouds come crowding in and pour forth like nobody’s business. Nothing of the sort happened. The men came, they went up in the air and then muttered what to MMM appeared rather flimsy excuses – wind speed was either too much or too little and that there was an already existing cloud cover. The fact remained that no water came down, though the men did, and lots of money went up in smoke.

A few years later, when all appeared to be going well, the city witnessed a curious spectacle. And then again, in a country where the Archaeological Survey begins digging for gold based on a godman’s dream, perhaps not so curious after all. But spectacle it certainly was for the protagonist involved was a violinist who was certainly a spectacle though his music was not spectacular. Listening to him or, more importantly, seeing him perform made you understand the difference between a violinist and non-violent person. But be that as it may, this personality offered to perform a rain song or, to put it correctly, a rain raga. This involved the man standing in a tub of water and playing the fiddle. But no rains came, no matter how inspiring his violin was. You just can’t fiddle with nature, is the way MMM looks at it.

Oddly enough, it rained copiously the year the entire city took a pledge to conserve rainwater. And it continued raining each year till the rainwater harvesting schemes began to be given the go-by. Perhaps there is a lesson in this for every one of us.