Sunday, March 23, 2008

Monsoon Hungama

It’s been a rather insane week. I got back from Kerala last weekend, and just as I was getting back into the rhythm of things, my grandfather on my dad’s side took ill, rapidly declined, and passed away Tuesday morning. Although it caught the family somewhat by surprise, it was ultimately welcome, as the poor man was in extremely ill health. For those who would like to offer condolences, my dad (and in turn the family) can be reached at Alternatively, if you would like to call, his number in India (where he is for the next 10 days, having around a few days ago) is (country code: 91) 944 028 6893.
Two days after my grandfather passed, I had to prepare for an audit of my team’s work by our funding agency, Concern India, another stressful experience.

However, the week passed, and this weekend was actually quite nice, with a gathering of many members of my father’s far flung family. Yesterday, during the ziyarat (prayer meeting) for my deceased grandfather, Hyderabad surprised with one of its unexpected delights. A dry season rainstorm, which is still going, more than 24 hours later. In a curious inversion of definitions, rainstorms which would be considered the ruin of a good day, say in Minnesota, are here regarded as “lovely weather.” It was quite a scene, driving sheets of rain interspersed with urban images of holi, a traditional Hindu festival which essentially involves water fights in the streets with colored powder (I didn’t get a chance to take photos on holi itself, but you can see the traces in the pictures of our security guard below).

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