These days perhaps, one encounters ‘rough weather’ more commonly in media headlines than in real life. The phrase ‘rough weather’ is very popular with journalists and headline writers, but it is not really a meteorological term nor does it have an exact definition. Rough weather is a part of the language of mariners, describing a situation on the high seas that is not quite a smooth sailing but not also as bad as being caught in a violent storm.

Media headlines resort to the phrase ‘rough weather’ whenever there is an opposition to a new idea or a proposal, or when something that is supposed to be proceeding smoothly encounters an obstacle. In some of the recent headlines, Indian shares in the Gulf region were reported to be ‘facing rough weather’, a proposed multi-million dollar ski-ing project in the Himalayas had ‘run into rough weather’ and the Indo-US nuclear agreement had ‘fallen into rough weather’. A parallel headline indicated that the Indo-US deal was also ‘sailing through rough waters’.

A Hindi film under production, instead of becoming a hit, had ‘hit rough weather’ and there were worries about two film actors soon having to ‘face rough weather’. There were reports about a government policy that ‘ran into rough weather’.

And a very interesting news item clarified that ‘the marriages of convenience in politics last as long as the political voyage is trouble-free and the big ship does not encounter rough weather’.