When we put up a fabricated structure to cover a part of our compound space, the fabricator had to leave spaces here and there to allow the electric wires, telephone cables and TV cables to pass through. Rain water was flowing through these gaps and to prevent that we did some ‘Jugaad’ and managed to close most of them. Still, one spot remained open and drops of rain fell into our portico. I managed it with another simpler ‘Jugaad’, which, in this case, is a bucket placed to catch these leaking drops. This bucket is my rain gauge. I empty it every morning and from the amount of water collected in this bucket I can measure the rain fall on my house as accurately as the meteorological department. For most of this rainy season the bucket remained dry. A week back the weather department announced that the monsoon has retreated and that the rain fall this season is deficient 25%. Tomorrow is Ganesha Chaturthi and I have hardly seen a rain free ‘chaturthi’ here. I thought this may be one.
Ganesha chaturthi is the most widely celebrated festival in Goa. It is a big issue here. From all points of view - religious, social, commercial and political. The bazaar starts buzzing with ‘chouti’ related activities at least a week or two before the festival. These activities peak two days preceding ‘chouthi.’ There is a tradition of decorating the ‘mantap’ (‘matoli’ as it is locally known) with locally grown vegetables as also wild fruits, flowers and leaves. In Ponda, the main bazaar road is closed for traffic two days before ‘chouti’ and the street is fully occupied by people selling and buying these things. It is called the ‘matoli bazaar’. The bazaar began yesterday and it has been raining without break since then. My rain gauge has recorded 3 cms of rain since yesterday. I hear that people are having a tough time shopping for the festival. The rain, which should have been welcome, is being cursed.
Since I hardly have anything else to do, we have finished our purchases days ahead of ‘chaturthi’ and I am now sitting waiting for my wife to finish her preparations and begin the Gowri pooja. I am the officiating priest and am under strict orders not to leave the room before I finish my task. I am sitting snug enjoying the rain and using the time to type whatever occurred to my mind.
Goa badly needed rain and I heard that some people performed a ‘Yagna’ at the ‘Brahma’ temple last week.
They should have prayed for rains to begin AFTER Ganesha Chaturthi.