Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Oh Rain, Where Art Thou?

Once again, the dhol echoed at nighttime, but it wasn't for a wedding. This time, the beats were summoning rain clouds to arrive. A man possessed by a spirit was dancing around a bonfire. He was the annadata for tonight, the spirit giving him the answers to questions posed by others. When will the rains come? "Tomorrow."

The fields ae being sown and ploughed, family members working together and sleeping by the crops at night. Some, like Asha's mother-in-law, are clearly frustrated by the delay in rains. "We've sown the seeds, they've rotted, and we've resown new seeds. What else can we do?" Her fields lay naked, awaiting the rains that will bring life to the slowly rotting seed. Geeta Bai isn't as morose. Water from her well feeds the thick crop sprouting on her land. A sea of leafy green jowar, corn, and okra delight my eyes. I make a mental note: This is what the village should look like.

The rain is supposed to come tomorrow, according to last night's annadata. The cooler winds and cloud cover doesn't give me much to complain about, but for the Kheda timely rains are crucial to ensure a hunger-free home. The crop they grow will not be sold for profit. Rather, it will be stored in their rooms, feeding the family all year long.

Predictions have been made, seeds have been laid. Now all we can do is wait. Oh rain, where art thou?

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