The rain gods usually withdraw from the scene with the withdrawal of the monsoon, but come June and they make their annual re-entry. It is once again time to thank them if they have been good or appease them if not. reporting on 29 June 2010 from the Dangs in Gujarat said: “At a time when everything organic is in vogue, here in the Dangs, it is a way of life. When music meets the regular farming activities, routine work like sowing, tilling and plowing become a treat. However, the combo is not complete unless the rain gods smile.

But they had already smiled elsewhere. The Times of India in its Nagpur edition of 25 June 2010 said, “Rain gods have brought smiles on the faces of distressed farmers of Gondia district promising good crop of paddy this year.”

The Pune Mirror of 12 June 2010 had a complaint, not against the rain gods but the people of Pune, “The rain gods have begun smiling on Pune, but Puneites are not counting their blessings. Despite there being water scarcity in many parts of the city, citizens don’t seem keen to harvest rainwater.”

Delhi had a temporary respite from the premonsoon summer heat and the Hindustan Times explained it on 8 June 2010, “The wind and the clouds were the chief factors behind this unexpected gift from the gods. Cyclone Phet, which cooled down a searing Rajasthan and the nearby region, pushed a mass of clouds towards Delhi.”

In Gujarat, however, the situation warranted serious action and The Times of India, Ahmedabad, reported on 29 June 2010, “City mayor Kanaji Thakore is expected to perform the prajanya-yagna in Madhavpura on Sunday, during which he will sit in a vessel full of water, and pray for rain. Thakore will be joined by scores of citizens who are enduring fasts and making various vows to appease Gods in the hope that monsoon will soon offer relief to the city. Rains have been playing truant, especially in Ahmedabad and the whole of north Gujarat.”

The Indian Express, Delhi, on 28 June 2010 said, “The Football World Cup may have captured the attention of the country, but the Prime Minister’s Office apparently still has time to gauge the mood of the rain gods.”

NDTV Profit on 11 June 2010 sounded this hopeful note, “And if the rain gods play along with a normal monsoon, the Indian economy seems set for a year of strong growth ahead.”

But what can you do if you cannot approach the rain gods directly? Mumbai Mirror on 9 June 2010 tried this, “Since we can’t meet the rain Gods, we decided to meet the party which interprets their signals …. we landed up at the Regional Meteorological Centre, Mumbai.”

Well, even in this day and age, with Doppler weather radars, automatic weather stations, high power computers  and climate models, the rain gods seem to remain as important as ever!