Thursday, 25 June 2009

Praying For Rain

It is raining bad news all over India with the monsoon delayed by 3 weeks now. Some areas have received scanty rain.
People are performing all kinds of religious rituals to appease the rain gods.

Here is a newspaper report from a village in our district.
Allahabad, June 25 : Women ploughed fields and sang songs in a ritual to appease the rain gods in Allahabad.
Fervently praying for the timely arrival of the monsoon, people across the country are performing various rituals to appease the rain God.
"All of us together performed rituals with flowers and incense sticks. Together we ploughed the land on our
own, the way men do. We prayed to Lord Indra (God of Rain) so that he could bless us with rain for healthy crop yields and greenery," said Ramkali, a village woman.
In a country where nearly two-thirds of agriculture depends on the rains and two-thirds of the population is dependent on agriculture, the delay in the arrival of monsoon is a serious cause of concern for the people especially farmers.
According to the officials of the Meteorological department, monsoon is likely to arrive in the state by the first week of July.
I found more photographs on the webHindu priest conducing a pooja

This is a yagna to please the rain god.
Many state ministers and officials are going on pilgrimages
and visiting temples to placate the gods.

A wedding of frogs
to draw the attention of

Deity Indra

Women at the frog 's wedding
They even had donkey nuptials
and a doll 's espousal

Muslims raise their hands in prayer.
There is a severe shortage of water
and electricity

(A man selling watermelon in Klkata)Food prices have shot up.
Fruits are a luxury

A liitle girl travelling in a rickshaw
The electricity supply is very erratic

and due to low voltage there is frequent tripping.

(An old man sitting in front of a ice cream advertisment)
"There are fears of drought if the rains are patchy
Indian officials say that monsoon rains in the country are likely to be "below normal" triggering off fears about crop failure and high food prices.
Forecasters say that rainfall is likely to be lower than predicted in April, when they said it would be near normal.
The government says there is no need for panic, and that heavy rains in July are likely to avert a drought.
A heat wave is sweeping the country and rains are delayed in many parts. Rains usually last from June to September.
"It [the monsoon] is late," federal minister Prithviraj Chavan told reporters.
North-west India appeared to be worst affected by the slow rains with only 81% rains forecast.
Monsoon rains are critical to India's farm prospects, which account for a sixth of economic output.
Up to 70% of Indians are dependent on farm incomes, and about 60% of India's farms depend on rains. Irrigation networks are dismissed by critics as inadequate.
The summer rains are crucial to crops such as rice, soybean, sugarcane and cotton.
The Indian media has been full of reports about the patchy rains so far.

A heat wave is scorching the country
"Praying for rain, bracing for worst" headlined the Hindustan Times on its front page on Wednesday.
The newspaper said that in at least eight states, monsoon rains so far had been 60 to 90% below normal.
"There is concern but no worry as yet. There is still time," Farm Secretary T Nanda Kumar told the newspaper.
One analyst said delay in the rains in some parts of India could hit economic growth.
"Delay in monsoon will play the spoilsport and may hit GDP by at least 1 to 1.5 percentage points," stockbroker VK Sharma, told the Reuters news agency.
Economists agree that the delay will cause further stress in a country where food prices are already high.
"The delay is not a good signal. Food prices are already high and any delay could push food prices higher. Food price inflation could emerge as a concern," said DK Joshi, principal economist at credit ratings agency Crisil.
Politicians in many states are holding special prayers for the rains - the farm minister in central Chhattisgarh state held a prayer for the state to get rains soon"
(BBC News)

This morning during my Quiet Time I read

the story of Elijah from 1 Kings 18 (Bible)

43" Go and look towards the sea, he told his servant. And he went up and looked. There is nothing there, he said. Seven times Elijah said, Go back.
44 The seventh time the servant reported, A cloud as small as a man's hand is rising from the sea. So Elijah said, Go and tell Ahab, 'Hitch up your chariot and go down before the rain stops you.'
45 Meanwhile, the sky grew black with clouds, the wind rose, a heavy rain came on and Ahab rode off to Jezreel."
I imagine Elijah 's servant running off to gaze unto the sky
and coming back shaking his head.
The seventh time dragged himself out of his master 's house
disgruntled and weary , cynically squinting at the
stark naked sky.
What does he see -
a cloud as small as a man 's hand.
He was not excited, but Elijah was.
He sent word to the King to run for cover!
James 5 (New Testament) tells us
17" Elijah was a man just like us. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years.
18 Again he prayed, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth produced its crops. "
Our God is the God of Elijah
and as we Christians pray for God 's mercy to rain
down on us He will send it.
Please pray with us.
My computer has become very slow
and it trips because of the faulty power supply.
I took me a whole evening to compose this post.
Sorry, my visits to your blogs are slow too.
This room is so hot and stuffy I can barely breathe here.

13 Fertilize my soul:

Kathryn said...

I pray that you will be sustained & uplifted thru this. God's blessings on you. :)

Sita said...

God of all creation, send down rain from heaven...let the people of India know that it is You who has the power and no one with Amrita and her Mom...blow refreshing breaths their way...give the poor hope, relief in this weather...In the name of Jesus, I pray, Amen...

Hey Amrita, here we just had quite turbulent weather because of the extreme heat...take care,
Love, Sita

Donetta said...

Loving You

Felisol said...

Dear Amrita,
I'm praying. I recon God has already heard and am expecting rain real soon.
From Felsiol
He, our Living God, who answered with fire also will answer with water.

Gerry said...

I will be sending up thoughts for rain for India. We had a severe drought here for years, but the last year or so have been pretty good. Did not know the lack of rain was getting critical there. Gerry

Crown of Beauty said...

I am praying for you, for your land, that the God who lets it rain on the just and the unjust will have mercy and send you the rain that you all badly need.

Thanks for posting even if it takes a lot of effort on your part.

My belated birthday wishes too to your mom! Such lovely memories!

Olde Dame Penniwig said...

Amrita, I am so sorry the power supply is acting up. The transformers are probably blowing up with all the heat. That is what happens here. I think the people who come fix the wires are very brave, but they have so many to fix.

I miss your visits and worry about the heat, about your health, Mother Hazel's health, and now, Namrita's health, too. Wah!

I hope those rains come and cool the air and bring the prices down! Please come down, rain! The climate has become so erratic.

India is such an amazing country. The frogs' wedding is surprising and sweet.

Take care my dear, even when you are not posting I am thinking about you across the many miles.

Creative-Type Dad said...

So sorry to hear that. I didn't know any of this was even happening.

Sending good thoughts...

monsoon dreams said...

hi amrita,
yes,this year we have very little rain.usually june is the month of heavy downpour in kerala.but this time it is just the opposite.

Amrita said...

Oh Yeah Penni, the frogs look cute but from a distance. I wouldn 't touch them toads...unless one of them was The Frog Prince!
I wonder how they know which is male and female???

MD send us some precipitation from Kerala

harimohan said...

tks for the comments in my blog ,becos of that i am aware of your work .
when I eulogised kerala rains i never thought of the drought in the rest of the country
hopefully july will make a difference
all those prayers would be answered of course

Michelle said...

Wonderful post! Again, your blog opened my eyes into another side of India that I did not know....I am joining you by praying for rain! :)

Terry said...

dear amrita....bernie and i have been reading your posts backwards as i get caught up and this it truly amazing your reading about elijah and the rain.
.it all came true and even better than what the government predicted because you didn't even have to wait till the middle of July for the refreshing rain!
it will be good for the crops and maybe fruit will go down in price, eh?
i remember when we golden children lived in ontario where the fruit was plentiful that we would maybe eat half an apple and then throw away the other half.
mom golden would tell us that this was wrong and one of these days, we would regret it.
well, when we moved to my bleoved manitoba, we were taught!
in those days there were few trucks that would deliver fruits from west british columbia or east ontario to the prairies
we would rarely have an apple or an orange or banana, just maybe twice a halloween when the houses would order, especially for the collecting children, apples and at christmas when we would get an orange in our sunday school christmas goody bag..
i must tell you amrita,
never again did the golden children and even to this day waste another apple.
in fact we used to eat core and all in those barren days!

love terry