When we hear the word “monsoon”, all sorts of fleeting emotions flash through our minds. Non-stop melody of raindrops, spicy food cravings, chilly weather and lots of cups of chai but along with it comes - the frustrating traffic, potholed roads, floods and stand still construction sites too. Nevertheless, we love the monsoon - Heartly embracing all the colours of the monsoon.
The earth grows, woods are lush and farmers wait for spring harvest. As sublime as the showers are, there’s a darker undertone to this enchanting phenomenon. Here’s all you need to know about what makes the great Indian monsoon so epic.
Fun Fact #1. April Showers Aid The Mangoes To Grow
You must have heard the words ‘mango showers’ flitting around casual conversation. This is a type of pre-monsoon, also called the retreating monsoon. The states of Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Puducherry experience a pre-monsoon downpour at the end of April and the start of May. These showers help the mangoes to ripen and prevent them from tumbling off the tree prematurely. Later on, the winds carry the rains towards us at the end of summer.
Fun Fact #2. Word Monsoon Comes from The Arabic Word ‘Mausim’
Ever thought about the origins of the word ‘monsoon’? Probably not- but we are here to spill the tea! It is rooted in the Arabic word ‘mausim’, which translates into seasonal winds. These winds were believed to be a source of energy as well. The word was first in usage in British India, in discussions about the winds coming from the Bay of Bengal; now it’s termed as a season.
Fun Fact #3. European Monsoon Is Called ‘Return of the Westerlies’
It is not just the Indian subcontinent, monsoon happens throughout the world. On the same trajectory, Europe has its choice of lexical when it comes to monsoons. Our Western friends call it the ‘return of the westerlies’. The westerly winds from the Atlantic trigger the European monsoon.
Fun Fact #4. India Experiences Monsoon Twice A Year
Monsoon in India is a 4-month marathon. It is divided into two seasons: the summer monsoon and the winter monsoon. Summer monsoon occurs from July - September and winter monsoon occurs from October- December. The abode of the clouds happens from the south. They cover the southern region initially and move towards the north in mid - July.
Fun Fact #5. Kerala Is The First State To Receive The Monsoon Rains
Some regions receive more rain than others. The coastal state of Kerala is the first state to receive seasonal monsoons. Chennai receives rains only from the northeast monsoon winds that occur in the winter. The western ghats and the northeast regions receive the highest rainfall. The streets of Mumbai experience frequent flooding during the monsoon. Darjeeling and Shillong are the wettest regions not just in India but the entire world during the monsoon.
Fun Fact #6. Gold Prices Change Depending On the Occurance Of Monsoon
Monsoon season influences the gold demand in India, purchases of the yellow metal boosts when there is crop output and income rises. It has an impact on 850 million farmers. ⅓ of gold demands come from the Indian rural population. A considerable percentage of crop revenue is spent on gold assets. They hold on to this as insurance during dire need.
Fun Fact #7. Rats Sit On Frog Backs to Travel During Floods
During the rainy season, It is common to witness rats on top of frogs in India. Frogs ferry them to safe places in floods. They seek sanctuary from the high winds that are powerful to blow the tree branches away. Since this ‘Disney occurrence’ is a sign of early summer showers, the natives have a tradition of getting the frogs wedded to Varuna (the god of oceans) so he blesses us with the rains.
Fun Fact #8. Monsoon Is A Huge Determining Factor Of Economic Growth Of India
Indian financial strategists humorously remark that the monsoon is “The Real Financial Minister” due to its massive effects on India's GDP. Monsoon influences irrigation and hydropower generation projects in India. Being an agrarian economy we depend heavily on the arrival of the monsoon, the harvest of the entire year ripens during this time of the year.
Fun Fact #9. India Has Lived Through 34 Droughts Till Now
There have been 34 droughts up till 2020. In 2021, the rainfall is estimated to be 101% of the long period average. Any rainfall below 90% is considered as drought. Monsoon rains are necessary for the sustenance of the entire country. The growth of rice, soya bean, cotton, etc., depends on them. The dependence on monsoon causes agonising and often exhausting wait for rainfall by the ruling class of citizens.
Fun Fact #10. As A Sport, People Gamble On When The Monsoon Arrives
Betting on the monsoon game is a common practice in India. There is a presence of illegal betting markets on the occurrence of the Indian monsoon. The bets go up to 25000 crores. Monsoon is India’s life-giver, its blood and its rebirth after the scorching sun dries out the land. The fate of millions of farmers depends on it. When some of us seek chai, the smell of rain sends some people (especially in dry regions like Rajasthan) into a frenzy, trying their luck on betting platforms like Unibet, William hill and Betsson.
Are you excited about the monsoon too? Jumping in monsoon puddles and witnessing the rainbow after an afternoon shower brings so much happiness to us. The farmers reap the benefits of their hard labour and ocean winds set tranquillity in all our homes. Here’s to hoping for more drought-free years.