It is monsoon season in Pakistan, and Karachi is awash with rains. For those who have yet to experience the rolling thunder and fury of monsoon downpours, I can only say it is worth experiencing them at least once. As they say, when it rains, it really rains.
Monsoon: Wikipedia states “the name comes from the Dutch word monssoen, from Portuguese monçao, from Arabic mawsim meaning season. A monsoon is a wind pattern that reverses direction on a seasonal basis. The term was originally applied to monsoonal winds in the Arabian Sea and Indian Ocean. The word is also used to label the season in which this wind blows from the southwest in India and adjacent areas that is characterized by very heavy rainfall, and specifically the rainfall that is associated with this wind.”
What do I remember most about the monsoon season in Karachi, Pakistan: Sudden darkness due to reddish cloud cover, thunder, tons of rain pouring down for days on end…its beautiful. BUT, I also remember days without electricity, water up to knees (and higher) in many parts of the city, roads blocked due to falling debris, cars choked due to water entering their silencers/mufflers, slums filled up with water, and infectious disease pandemics that follow…etc etc. needless to say, while the monsoon rains bring a much needed relief from the trenmendous heat that builds up in weeks leading to the monsoon, they also wreck havoc on a city ill-planned and unprepared for such storms. I personally remember getting stranded on a streetside near my high school for over 10 hours, soaking wet in the rains, before my father could get our little car out on flooded streets and bring me back to home.
These pictures remind me of the monsoon rains in Pakistan. They were taken by Karachiites, who clearly are savoring every moment of the dreamy thunderous rains, and battling the savageries of the weather at the same time. Picture on the right shows an electricity transmission grid tower in the background of cumulus clouds (that bring the rain).
Caption: A truck that got overturned in the heavy rainfall. Its scary how often that happens during the monsoon season.
Caption: Karachi just decided to move from constructing flyovers to underpasses (for aesthetic reasons. Well. lo and behold, the city planners goofed up, did not consider the torrential rains and the flooding in their design. Here’s a picture of an underpass which has now become a big ass lake for people to swim in.
Caption: A photoshop edited version of a photograph of skies during the monsoon season. It looks beautiful, but scary. Did I tell you that many Pakistanis believe the first born in a family is mor epone to getting hit by lightening. It was funny how my mom and grand mother always warned me from goin goutside during thunder and lightening.
Caption: A snake-charmer seen through the rain washed windows of a car. Colors are so appealing. Its like fire and water – magical trance, much like the snakecharmer’s charm on the snake. Read a related post here.
Caption: Here’s a slum area flooded. I know several people who worked at my home who live in such places and have a terrible time keeping the shelter above their heads during monsoon. It is also sad how many people die due to electrocution in such areas when improperly put togethe electricity transmission wires fall into the water and stay ‘live’.
Source: Pictures courtesy of Metroblogging Karachi Flickr group and other websites.