Chances of Kashmir becoming the world’s first region to witness a heated controversy over rain depend on the gravity of unfolding geopolitics and whether downpours synchronise themselves with ritual gastronomic gratifications without which the heavens reject nuptial prayers. The radically different explanations two known experts have recently offered for the Valley’s tempestuous weather have one common strand – no one knows what to do about them (the rains), in the short term, that is – climate change being a global phenomenon, and topography too expensive to change, barring a cataclysmic event. After the bureau’s massive goof-up the other day, people are more likely to toss a coin to decide on sunny or rainy gear than depend on their now-usual hourly reference to meteorology, but may choose circumspection due to the great gambler’s habit of posing heads-I-win-tales- you-lose conditionalities.
If the post-flood hair-splitting from insurance assessors is an indication, the industry may develop new categories, such as “damage due heavy rains” and “damage due to cloudbursts” and spawn a brand-new field of investigation to determine the difference. Implicit in the statements of one of the experts is the suggestion that till such a time as technological tools of the requisite sophistication arrive, personnel would be required to rush from spot to spot, under the protective shield of an umbrella if possible, and measure the millimetres of rain in glass beakers stolen from high-school science laboratories – provided that science laboratories (wherever schools have them) have not yet been totally upgraded to demonstrate the land’s pre-historic prowess at plastic surgery.
The possible new twist to the debate notwithstanding, therapeutic methods need to be developed to bring the minds, or heads, of the masses out of the clouds and down to mother earth, which may involve giving vent to deep-rooted wishes and aspirations as traditionally done on a shrink’s couch. The profession is known to be notoriously money-minded (in the civilized world particularly), charging its fee by the length of the session – in other words, putting value on its time, a concept that seems surprising in Kashmir where time has no limit, even after it has been printed, embossed or engraved on invitation cards. So instead of a closed, dimly-lit chamber, why not the airy ambience afforded by an adorned canopy, and the convivial company of fellow-connoisseurs, to hold forth on a subject close to everyone’s heart, and get to the bottom of the mystery of the inclemency to the Valley’s good cheer.