It was when I saw my sugar cane juice man closing down his stall I knew that the monsoon would to be early and India’s economic growth this year would be extraordinary.
The monsoon in India is the juice that gives the country its vitamins and the early arrival this year makes up for 2009 that saw many parts of India suffer drought because the monsoon effectively failed in those areas.
Not that the world knew much about it. As is usual, it is urban India that obsesses the rest of the world, not the plight of parched people on its peripheries.
The word monsoon was coined by the occupying British in the 1800s and comes from the Arabic word mawsim that means ‘season’. It lasts from any time in June to September and, no, it doesn’t rain the whole time.
First, there are pre-monsoon showers and a few days later the real thing hits. It’s amazing when it hits, the full force of Mother Nature and, yes, some of us do dance naked in the rain.
After that, all is intermittent. Sometimes it pelts down for three days, other times it stops for a week and at others it falls in the morning and is clear in the afternoon.
Living here in Goa the awful pre-monsoon heat and humidity drives the last tourist out of town and means the sea is too dangerous to swim in, but it is a great time to be here. Time to reflect, create and wonder.
Such thoughts are from the minds of agrarian Indians who produce the bread-basket of India and a realistic prospect of an excellent monsoon this year means much lower food prices and a boon to India’s GDP.
So watch the Indian stock market soar this mawsim and the country delight in its drenching. As it’s my birthday today and the monsoon arrives tomorrow, me and the Arabian Sea are going to say goodbye… until the summer returns.