The Man from Madras Musings is perpetually looking up at the sky rather like one of those cultivators in famine films that the 1950s so specialised in. And not a cloud can he see. The weather department whose words nobody can trust, had promised monsoons as early as October 10th and then retracted that statement. It had then gone on to predict downpours from October 20th and when that failed they said the clouds would be here by November 1st. That date too came and went and now it appears that MMM’s weather prediction system is as good as the meteorological department’s. And so he confidently states that by November 20th we will be subject to heavy rains.
How is MMM so sure you may well ask. Actually he is not sure at all. He is just speculating and if he does turn out to be correct, he may have a living, as a rain diviner. The Red Indians if you recollect, held such men in high regard. What if it does not rain you may wonder. MMM has an answer to that too – his fate cannot be worse than that of the officials of the Met Department or the average astrologer. But what is going to happen if the rains fail is yet another matter altogether. The newspapers are full of reassurances. The city gets around 140cm of rain in a year they say and we apparently have already got around 60 per cent of it. Did you notice that rain? No? MMM too did not. And yet it appears that we did have that rain. Now all we need is the balance 40 per cent. Let us hope that happens.
Our State Government has not gotten around to being aware of this looming crisis as yet. It is currently more interested in taking umbrage over certain sections that it deems objectionable in certain films and demanding cuts. And when that crisis is over, it will get back to praying to mother goddess and erecting arches to commemorate various centenaries and other such happenings. It also appears to be unaware that water from the Krishna river, which was made available several decades ago by the very leader whose centenary is being observed, has been turned off at the main as the State of Andhra has declared that it needs the precious fluid and has none to spare.
And so where does it leave us all? Well, we do have water in long-abandoned quarries and that should see us through for some time. And then we have the lake that a famed prince dug for us in the 9th century and over the piping of which we dithered for almost a century. And then we have water tankers that drive through the city at breakneck speeds demanding exorbitant rates for supply of water of doubtful quantity and quality. And finally we also have our collection of plastic pots that photographers never appear to tire of. At least one five-star hotel in the city has made a display out of them. Who said we have run out of alternatives?
But be of good cheer. MMM predicts rain by the 20th and as for the Met Department, they have said a cyclone will blow us cross-eyed by November 14th. And may the best man win.