POSTCARD#271: Delhi: It’s a warm rain to me, of course, coming from the far northern part of the world. Here in Delhi (28.6139° N, 77.2090° E), it’s not a cold rain, it’s cool – a huge respite from the fierce dry summer that’s been hammering down on us. Almost volcanic, self-combusting temperature these last few months. Now it’s like a champagne party for the team that won the race and everyone joins in. Disregarding danger, street kids up to their knees in deep puddles, completely wet, clothing stuck to their skinny bodies, and dashing around in traffic. One of them jumps daringly close to my window as we drive through at speed and send up a shower of shlooshing and splooshing, laughter in the great waves splashing over their heads.

For a moment I’m in awe, it’s like being in the car wash. The all-surround-sound of rain rattling down on the thin vehicle hood, trunk, windows front to back, to the left, then to the right, and a few inches above my head the deafening roar of water like a fireman’s pressure hose. The dynamic environment becomes something I don’t recognize; images in the mind of death by drowning, instant recall of an apocalyptic fear, the Genesis flood narrative, and looking for shelter, anywhere will do… but I’m safe here in present time, the car is a watertight bubble, a Noah’s Ark, carried along, and self-propelled in the deluge,

Streets suddenly engulfed in volumes of water I’m not used to, and we’re giving way to waves, not driving in cars any more, we’re in small power boats, jostling for space in the midst of the great sweeping along of flotsam and jetsam. Everyone, everywhere, giving way to the force of it, running for shelter, motorbike riders huddled under a bridge fiddling with mobile phones… images on Facebook, Twitter go out to everywhere in the world.

Then we’re home, out of the car, under umbrellas that don’t open correctly, hopping and sloshing through deep puddles and jumping over small rivers in the driveway. Shoes off in the hall and into the house. The strange darkness of rooms and the deafness of sound of rain on the roof. There’s nothing to be done, the deluge takes priority, get in and lay low for a while. See how the trees and everything in the garden; all growing things, leaf, stem and root, are connected totally with the downpour. Fused into one and the same thing. Like an electrical charge, a large voltage, long and deep stab of energy thrust into the earth, activates everything below ground, more than enough, generosity, Biblical abundance.

Brahman is full of all perfections. And to say that Brahman has some purpose in creating the world will mean that it wants to attain through the process of creation something which it has not. And that is impossible. Hence, there can be no purpose of Brahman in creating the world. The world is a mere spontaneous creation of Brahman. It is a Lila, or sport, of Brahman. It is created out of Bliss, by Bliss and for Bliss. [Lila (Hinduism) – Wikipedia]

Upper photo: from the car. Lower photo: WSJ/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images/Children on a waterlogged street during rain in New Delhi, July 12.


24 thoughts on “monsoon

    • It’s the power of climatic conditions that got to me here in Delhi. We could so easily see the world fall into sci-fi like bleak landscape zones where all the remaining power is taken away from the ordinary human being. Given all the greed and hunger for power, the fact that this kind of deprivation hasn’t happened yet means there’s a lot to be learned from the relationship we have with abundance in Nature…

  1. Such a vivid description and a great photo of the children in the streets enjoying the rain so spontaneously and joyously! Wonderful. The quote is foreboding and forbidding. Thank you for the shower. We’ve had torrential downpours and lots of thunderstorms. They warned of a possible tornado. Enjoy!

    • Hi Ellen, about the quote, I gave it some thought and could see the foreboding and forbidding aspect you mention. So I’ve changed it, have a look. It’s about Lila, frees up all the stuck things thought to be impossible.
      Hope the tornado passes through without damage. Thanks for your comment, good to have your take on things as always…

      • Oh, I am sorry to give the impression of criticizing the quote. I wasn’t. It just struck fear into my soul. But the new quote has such relevance for me at this time. Am about to embark on a course with Sadhguru who teaches how to get to bliss. Thank you for your note.

      • I’m glad you feel that way about the new quote, it works for me too, so thanks. It’s good that you drew attention to the one that was there before, and I know you weren’t criticizing, I just hadn’t thought of the meaning of it in that context, until you pointed it out. My feeling about Sadhguru is different from yours and we discussed this before, but I’m pretty sure he’d say reaching bliss is part of the investigation, it provides the meditator with renewed energy, and Lila is more like a way of saying that nothing really matters because whatever you do, all paths lead to now as it is, and always has been.

  2. Wonderful… your prose “snapshot” is as vivid and revealing as the photographs. What I remember about India is the regularity with which I was shaken loose of my storyline into the shocking improbability of the present moment. Children splashing in the wake of a bus? Not in New England…

    • Good to hear from you JW. Yes, the shocking improbability of the present moment. India is a world unto itself, constantly insisting our preparedness is too narrow to contain it all. For me – and that was, say 35 years ago, the limits were expanded and expanded until the whole thing was likely to snap there and then. Somehow, though, we just stretched to accommodate it all. I went back to UK for one winter but just couldn’t stay, too many unnecessary barriers, not enough room, narrow mindedness and I left there and have been in Asia ever since

  3. Thanks for sharing. The picture with the kids in the waves beneath the bus is awesome. How much fun rain can be!

    Fellow blogger Barbara Franken has just sent out a call for guest bloggers,
    I thought of you. Maybe you would like to contribute and feature your book? If so, you can click on a link in the post and see how to apply (write something about the topic of compassion, a short author bio, and a book description).

    • Thanks Karin for this interesting opportunity to clarify what compassion (karuṇā) really means, and how it’s understood from the Buddhist perspective. A good subject to write about. It’ll take me a day or two, so let’s see how that takes place. I’ll be back…

  4. I just love the picture of the boys enjoying the water Tiramit! What brings stress to some brings great happiness to others. Oh to be so carefree! 🙂

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