The meaning of monsoon clouds in Hindu imagination

By Navina Ja
"In sync with season" - A miniature painting showing Krishna enjoying Megh Malhar
The fever of monsoon has captivated the Indian imagination for centuries. From films to a large number of social and cultural gatherings aspire to celebrate the sensuality associated with the meteorological phenomenon. It is fascinating to trace the manner in which Indian texts on arts have visualised, the monsoons as audio-visual experiences which became guidelines for individual artists and community celebrations represented inrepositories of famous compositions. Years ago, while researching the cultural heritage of Varanasi, Ustad Bismillah Khan described the mood of monsoons and ended with playfully singing in my ear,“The rain clouds gathered, there was buzz that the famous sail parties (as monsoon stag picnics were called locally) were organised by the merchant elites of Benaras around small waterfalls, ponds and garden homes were on. [More]