One question I get a lot every time I am getting ready to come to India is, “when is monsoon?” And since 4 out of 5 trips I’ve come in August, the answer is usually “now.” As evidence, I present the view from the verandah:
Apparently it was dry for a few days right before I got to this village, which is fortunate because it meant I was actually able to get here. The afternoon after my arrival, Sumnadevi and I stood on the verandah and watched the courtyard become a pond. “How will I go to my maika?” she asked, as she was preparing to go visit relatives a 2-hour bus ride away. “Swimming!” I replied. “Yes! I’ll go by fish!” she laughed.
So for the moment I’m mostly house-bound, both because there are only a few hours of clear sky per day in which to get out and about, and because with Sumnadevi gone (she did eventually catch a bus, not a fish) I’m tasked with rolling out the morning roti and keeping an eye on Jumki the cow while she grazes the slope just above the house. I don’t mind—it’s still a few weeks to go before the herds come down for shearing, and learning how wool-producing households function is part of why I’m here. Plus I have ample opportunity to ponder non-capitalist engagements with time as I make and drink chai, weave in the ends of yarn on hats I’ve knit to give out to folks, and pull drying clothes off the line and then hang them back up again. That’s totally standard business practice, right?