The past week saw residents of Mumbai experience the onset of the monsoons, waking up to moderate rainfall a couple of mornings, and a few nightly thunder-showers. Along with the sense of relief from the heat brought on by the rains, we also experienced our first taste of the infamous annual waterlogging in many parts of the city.
While the monsoons did arrive on time this year, unlike the previous few, it has made but a meek start. We are, however, braced, to experience the full force of the monsoons in all its special Mumbai glory, starting the fourth week of June, as predicted by the Met Department.
Soon, Mumbai and most parts of India will once again be overwhelmed as the lashing rains go about causing floods and paralysing life, disrupting power and drinking water supplies, and exposing the precarious state of our infrastructure. Even so, we are grateful for the bounteous blessing of water – the most crucial of all factors for the very sustenance of all life.
While the volume and duration of rains becomes increasingly unpredictable, the intermittent torrents, with crippling impacts on cities, are becoming more frequent, thanks to global warming. This long-term heating of Earth’s climate system is caused due to human activities, primarily the burning of fossil fuel, which increases heat-trapping greenhouse gas levels in our Earth’s atmosphere.
As grateful as we are for the rains, we need to be more responsible and conscious about our role in the overall ecosystem. Because when we don’t, we learn the hard way… the pandemic being a case in point! Mother Nature, just like a patient mother, waits tolerantly for her children to get things right… but just as any mother would have to finally resort to pasting a tight one on the stubbornly errant child, so do we get to experience Her wrath, time to time.
Be it a hurricane, a storm, a pandemic or any other natural disasters, the first realisation that hits us, in the face of these titanic occurrences, is our powerlessness and the negligible of our existence. It’s a humbling reminder to all of humanity… to understand our place in the universe so that we don’t get too ahead of ourselves based on our material acquisitions and gains. But more than that, to respect the power of nature and not be so foolhardy as to take it for granted. In the words of British writer, Barbara Ward, “We have forgotten how to be good guests, how to walk lightly on the earth as its other creatures do.”
Have a good weekend!