Home > Kathmandu, Monsoon, Nepal > Wherefore art thou, monsoon?

Wherefore art thou, monsoon?

So I’m *this* close to giving up on the monsoon. It is SUCH a tease! The clouds roll in, and I rejoice, and then it drizzles, and I’m positively delirious… and then they roll away again.

For instance, there was this massive thunderhead which covered almost all of Kathmandu yesterday and blocked out all sunlight.

Click for larger image.

The thunderhead from the window right beside my workstation at 3:15 p.m. yesterday. You can generally see the front hills at the centre of this picture (right above the line of buildings). Yesterday's thunderhead, however, was low enough to obscure most of them.

By 3:00 p.m., the skies had turned the colour of liquid mercury, and we had to switch on the lights inside the office. The thunderhead hovered above us, full of promises of a majestic, biblical thunderstorm — the kind that I’ve dreamed about all my life. Every time it rained in Abudhabi (that’s where I was brought up, and there was precious little rain), my parents — who were brought up in Calcutta (dad) and Dhaka (mom) — dismissed it with a ‘pffft’ and told me stories about these CURTAINS of rain in Bengal, courtesy eastern monsoons.

So you can imagine my excitement when I was told that Nepal also gets easterly monsoons (as opposed to westerly ones in Pakistan, which, in Karachi, are precious little too, but that’s another story). I dreamt of claps of thunder and dramatic lightening and solid, zero-visibility walls of rain…

Back to the present (and reality), though, the monsoons here have been delayed. They were supposed to have arrived (hahah that word again!) on June 10. There was quite a bit of rain on June 14, a day before I got here, I’m told. The smog was cleansed, and The Mountains (the snow-capped peaks behind the set that is generally visible) could be seen clearly against the sky (they’re generally lost to Kathmandu’s smog). There was some rain, on and off, since, but nothing to write home about.

This is why I got excited when I saw the massive thunderhead yesterday. The air got very still, and we expected a cloudburst any moment. What we got, however, was more like a cloud*pop*. A slight drizzle, and then the imposing black mass drifted off somewhere, leaving me super-disappointed again. No, god, this is not funny anymore.

An hour or so ago, we did get more-rain-than-usual. For around 10 minutes, I saw what seemed like a watered-down preview of the easterly monsoon. Walls of water came rushing down, spattering the tin roof of the office, forcing me to go running out on to the terrace and dance with joy. Its gone now though, and the sun’s out again. I worry about the farmers whose livelihoods (and lives) are dependent on these rains, and I wonder if the easterly monsoons are a myth. *sigh*

Outside my window at work. June 24, 2010; 12:18 p.m.

Outside my window at work right now (12:18 p.m.; June 24, 2010). See the hills, children? 'The Mountains' are said to be visible behind them when its clear.

  1. June 24, 2010 at 12:12

    Well you at least have a pleasant view from the office. Sorry to hear that Kat has developed a smog problem. Is it seasonal or year-round?

    • Bolshevik
      June 24, 2010 at 12:40

      I’m not sure. I’m not very sure its because of pollution either, although everyone says it is. From what I see, while smog does hang over the city, the snow-capped mountains are hidden by clouds, not smog. I get conflicting reports re the permanent/seasonal bit too.

      The view from my office is VERY pretty — 180 degrees of awesomeness! Ditto for the view from the guesthouse AND my apartment-to-be. :-D

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