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The Monsoon: A unique Contribution of Nature PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 28 March 2008

The word 'Monsoon' is derived from 'Mousum', the Arabic word for season. It can also mean 'weather'. The monsoon is a seasonal wind, which starts blowing from the Indian Ocean from early June and continues till mid-August.15 June corresponds to the first of Ashar in the Bengali calendar, which is the day the Rainy season is supposed to commence.

Ashar and Sraban are the two months of heavy rainfall. During these months the sky remains cloudy almost all the time and it rains incessantly. Rain rejuvenates nature and greatly helps our agriculture. It helps ensure an abundant harvest. The soil becomes rich with fresh water and is ready for cultivation. The fishes multiply in the fresh rainwater. Nature becomes lush and bountiful.

The rainy season is intimately connected with the history, agriculture, economy, culture and celebrations of the Bengali people. It has influenced our literature as well. There are hundreds of poems and songs on monsoon rain. One can easily find references to monsoon rain in many novels and short stories. There are stories, poems and songs filled with expressions of the aspirations, happiness, love, sorrow and also agony that mingle with rain.

One can remember the famous poem of Rabindranath Tagore, in Geetbitan, where he writes 'Emono diiney tarey bola jay... . Emono ghono ghor borishay' (This can be said to the beloved on a day of pouring rain ...).With its life-giving, soothing rain and its wild storms, the monsoon is a mixed blessing, whimsical, totally unpredictable and unmistakably, Bangladeshi. It is a breathtaking spectacle that annually shapes the lives of both the people and wildlife of Bangladesh.

But there is another darker side to the story. Excessive rain makes the rivers overflow their banks, inundating low-lying areas, at first in flash floods. Hundreds of villages and townships remain under deep water for weeks. People have to move to safer places. Dwellings, commodities and crops all go under water.

Despite the woes, sufferings and damage, the people of Bangladesh still welcome the rains each year as a benevolent friend and celebrate its arrival with happiness.

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