Pakistan is an agricultural country. It is, also, a hot country, and people, oppressed hy the heat of May and, June, naturally look forward to the rains with very anxious hearts. The crops depend upon timely and sufficient rains, which means that the very lives of the people of this country depend upon the rains. If it does not rain, or it rains untimely, or the quantity is insufficient, there occurs famine in the land, and people begin to die. It is for this reason that people wait for the rains with very anxious hearts, and the anxiety is so great that in big cities where there are grain markets whose prosperity depends upon the rains, rain-gambling, a new form of gambling goes on not falling on a certain day.
During the rains, the air becomes cool and pleasant, the oppressive heat disappears, but at times, when the wind stops, it becomes very close and stifling. In places, it becomes very muggy and sticky, and perspiration chokes the breath. The vapours that rise from moist earth under the influence of the sun are harmful, and cause malaria. The dampness, which during the rainy season appears in our houses, is also very harmful to health.
If the rains are excessive, rivers are flooded. They overflow and cause devastation. Whole villages are swept away, and great misery is caused. In large cities, houses collapse, and sometimes lives are, also, lost. So the rains, while they are a blessing, are also very harmful. Excess of everything is bad.
This season begins in July, about the 15th of Har, in Punjab. It is due to the monsoon which comes from the Arabian Sea.
The dark clouds hovering overhead, and the cool moist air make an ideal weather. Poets have described the beauties of the clouds, their majestic movements, and their lovely shapes. Kalidasa, in one of his immortal poems, makes the cloud his messenger to carry his message to his beloved, from whom he is separated. The thunder of clouds, the flash of lightning, the grunting of frogs, and the dancing of peacocks in the gardens make the scene charmingly beautiful. They have swings, in which boys and girls sway backward and forward, and sing. People crowd on river banks to enjoy the sight of rising waters. The animals feed on new grass in the pasture lands. The farmer is busy ploughing the land, while it is soft and wet, and preparing it for sowing the next crop. Everything bears a gay aspect.
In big cities, the roads become muddy and slippery, and the splashing of liquid mud spoils the clothes. In Pakistan, schools and colleges are closed during the rainy season, partly because during this season, it is not good from the sanitary point of view for too many persons to crowd together in one place. There is not much activity, because on account of excessive dampness and sweat, one does not feel inclined to work. Snakes and numberless insects make life a bit unsafe. Foodstuffs, vegetables, and fruits decompose very quickly, and for this reason we must be careful about our health in these days.
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