In the mid-nineteenth century James Orchard Halliwell collected and published the version of the popular rhyme “Rain, rain, go away Come again another day Little Arthur wants to play”. In India, we sure don’t play this rhyme because monsoons are associated with romance, freshness and hot samosas & chai. Who doesn’t love the “bheeni bheeni khusbhoo of the mitti” We love it when it pours and the respite it brings from the heat. But with every pro there is a con. So yes, rains have their negatives too. If you want to enjoy your monsoons this year, read on...
Firstly, you must take care of what you eat. During monsoons waterborne diseases touch an all time high with flies and mosquitoes breeding easily during monsoons. So as far as possible try to eat light food. Also avoid eating the street food from outside. If you are a working mother, it would be better if you put in some extra time to give your kids food cooked at home. Always have fresh food during monsoons and warm your meals before eating. Do not have raw food or uncooked food because it may be infected with germs. Cooking destroys germs.
Take care to ensure that your home and your surroundings are free of collected water. Mosquitoes breed where there is still water. Many people get malaria during monsoons and there are chances of getting infected with dengue as well. Put a few drops of phenyl or kerosene where you see collected water in your neighbourhood to ensure that it does not breed mosquitoes. Keep the telephone numbers of the municipality officers of your area handy so that they are easily reachable during such times. Use a mosquito net for your family or get a good mosquito repellent.
Kids love to splash around in water. Water collected on the roads is filled with dirt, glass pieces, sharp stones and garbage. While it may be difficult to make kids understand the hazards of this, it would be better if you let them splash around in the bath tub. Also inform your kids to keep a watch for open manholes. Keep the numbers of the school and places where your kids regularly go so that in cases of emergencies such as floods you know where to reach them.
Keep a watch on live wires because there are instances of people getting electric shocks while wading in floods. Also ensure that if you have leaking roofs or walls you get your home painted with a good quality water proof paint. Keep a calendar of high tide days if you live in a city like Mumbai which gets more rainfall and is surrounded by sea on three sides.
Many people fall ill during monsoons and running noses is a common feature during this time. Ensure that your first aid box is well stocked with the required medicines and tablets. Keep the telephone number of your nearest chemist handy so that in cases of emergencies you can have the medicines home delivered.
A little care taken during the monsoon will ensure that you have a blast in the rains and we are sure that the garam samosas with that cuppa chai can be enjoyed more often and you will be singing this poem from Rain in Summer by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow :
“How beautiful is the rain! After the dust and heat, In the broad and fiery street, In the narrow lane, How beautiful is the rain! How it clatters along the roofs, Like the tramp of hoofs! How it gushes and struggles out From the throat of the overflowing spout! Across the window-pane It pours and pours; And swift and wide, With a muddy tide, Like a river down the gutter roars The rain, the welcome rain! “