Home

Filmy Weather (39): Kedarnath, or Love and Hate in the Time of Rain

Leave a comment

It was in March 2018 that I wrote my previous post in this series. This long break was due to my inability to go to a movie theatre. When I could overcome my temporary immobility, I decided to watch “Kedarnath” for a variety of reasons. First, it was Sara Ali Khan’s debut film, and I have been her grandmother’s ardent fan! Second, it was a disaster movie, and I always like to see how films depict the India Meteorological Department’s role in weather-related disasters, if at all. Third, I had seen Sara’s aunt Soha Ali Khan in another disaster movie, Tum Mile (2009), and I wanted to make a comparison.

There is no doubt that Sara Ali Khan, with all the actor’s genes in her, carries the entire film and steals the show as Mukku, the vivacious mountain girl. But it is not without the help of Sushant Singh Rajput who graciously allows her to do that, literally carrying her on his back in his role as Mansur, the Pitthoo.

Among the many songs of Kedarnath, Qaafirana is nice and sweet: “Aise Tum Mile Ho, Aise Tum Mile Ho, Jaise Mil Rahi Ho Itar Se Hawa…”. But the perfume does not linger long in the air. Soon afterwards the atmosphere gets vitiated by the stench of hatred, jealousy, separation, misunderstanding, shrewdness, ambition and all. To all this, the environment adds its own woes. Kedarnath does not have just the one mandatory rain song that Hindi movies are required to have. Here, all life including rituals, ceremonies, weddings, arguments, and fights, goes on in the midst of heavy downpours. In one scene, where it is not raining, the heroine is immersed in freezing river water many times as if in compensation. Even when there are no visuals of rain, the film has the sound of pouring rain in the background. The audiography is so realistic that one feels that it is literally raining over the roof of the movie theatre!

In Tum Mile, the Meteorological Department was shown to be a place where people played carrom to pass the time, oblivious of the rain. Kedarnath has a brief sequence showing quite a high-tech Meteorological Department in action, with the staff discussing the situation arising from a low pressure area developing in the Bay of Bengal.

Tum Mile like Kedarnath, was also a disaster movie, but it was singularly focussed on the Mumbai rain event of 26 July 2005. Kedarnath while dealing with the cloudburst of 16 June 2013, attempts to tackle several problems in one go, and obviously cannot succeed. It has inter-faith conflicts, family discords, poverty, hazards of mountain life, all on the agenda. But it does deal with the Uttarakhand disaster in some detail, simulating the cloudburst process pretty well and using actual documentary footage of the tragic events. If the lesson it wants to teach is that man should not disturb the balance of the environment, then it does that effectively.

Kedarnath is about human beings seeking God residing on an inaccessible mountain top. But do they find him? And what do they do after finding him? These and other questions remain unanswered. Like, why does God allow natural disasters to happen? What role does he play at that time? Is it his way of disciplining those he loves? Is it his intention to restore order in an unruly and reckless world? And if an ordinary disaster can be so horrible, what will happen on his final day of judgment?

See also: Filmy Weather (9): Tum Mile, Love in the Time of Rain

Marathi Article on Climate Change

Leave a comment

An article in Marathi about climate change by Prof, R. R. Kelkar was published in Maharashtra Times, Pune, on 13 Dec 2015. Click on the image to read the pdf file.

Click here to read

R K Laxman on the Monsoon

2 Comments

The legendary cartoonist, R K Laxman, had the weather and the weatherman as two of his favourite subjects for his cartoons in the You Said It series.  Here are two of his cartoons that appeared in The Times of India, one in June 1962 and the other in July 1988.

RKLaxman on Onset of Monsoon RKLaxman on Droughts and Floods

Climate Change and the New Generation

1 Comment

“Climate Change and the New Generation” – 13th V G Kulkarni Memorial Lecture
Speaker: Prof R R Kelkar
Venue: Homi Bhabha Centre for Science Education, Mankhurd, Mumbai
Date: 18 September 2014
Time: 4:30 pm

VGK Lecture Poster

Uttarakhand Tragedy

1 Comment

Prof R R Kelkar commented upon the recent Uttarakhand tragedy in the 5 July 2013 issue of the Marathi weekly Lokprabha:

आपल्याकडे एक नेहमीची सवयच झालेली आहे. कोणतीही घटना घडली की त्याची तुलना परदेशातील घटनांशी करायची आणि आपण कसे कमी आहोत, त्यांच्याकडे कसे प्रगत तंत्रज्ञान आहे वगरे चर्चा करायची. हा पायंडाच पडला आहे, पण आपण हे समजून घेतले पाहिजे की, आपल्याकडेदेखील प्रगत तंत्रज्ञान उपलब्ध आहे. त्याबाबत आपण प्रगत देशांपेक्षा कोठेही कमी नाही, पण आपल्याकडील भौगोलिक परिस्थितीचा विचार करणे अतिशय महत्त्वाचे आहे. हिमालयाची उंची ही जगातील इतर कोणत्याही पर्वतरांगांपेक्षा खूप वेगळी आहे हे ध्यानात घ्यावे लागेल.दुसरे असे की, आपण अनुमान देऊ शकतो; पण ते अनुमान संबंधित लोकांपर्यंत पोहोचण्यासाठीदेखील हिमालयाची भौगोलिक रचना मोठा अडथळा ठरते. तसेच तेथील लोकसंख्या ही विखुरलेली आहे. या सर्वांपर्यंत शहरासारखे त्वरित संपर्क होणे शक्य नसते.

सर्व डोंगरांवर रडार बसवावा म्हणजे मग काहीच अडचण राहणार नाही, अशी मल्लिनाथीदेखील अनेकांकडून केली जाते. आपल्याकडे रडारचे तंत्रज्ञान चांगल्या आणि मोठय़ा प्रमाणात उपलब्ध आहे, पण रडारसाठी जी लाइन ऑफ साइट हवी असते ती हिमालयात योग्य प्रकारे मिळू शकत नाही. काही क्षणांपूर्वी दिसणारा एखादा ढग क्षणात डोंगराआड जातो, तेव्हा त्याचे ट्रॅकिंग करणे अवघड होते. तंत्रज्ञानाला असलेल्या या मूलभूत मर्यादा आपण दृष्टिआड करून चालणार नाहीत.

हिमालयाच्या बाबतीत आणखीन एक महत्त्वाची बाब म्हणजे तुम्हाला जर एक तास आधी जरी या संकटाची सूचना मिळाली तरी तेथे असणाऱ्या मोठय़ा प्रमाणातील भाविकांना तेथून बाहेर काढणे शक्य झाले नसते. तसेच एखादा ढग केव्हा, कसे, कोठे, किती काळ फुटेल असे अगदी स्पेसिफिक उत्तर देणे शक्य नसते. साधारण कल्पना तुम्हाला मिळू शकते. दुसरे असे की, हिमालयातील वातावरण बऱ्याच वेळा मिनिटामिनिटाला बदलत असते. एखादा ढग येतो आणि पाहता पाहता शिखर पार करून जातो. उपग्रह छायाचित्रदेखील ३० मिनिटांनंतर मिळते. ढगफुटी झाली तरी पुढे तो पाण्याचा लोंढा कोणत्या दिशेने जाणार हे कसे काय सांगणार?

सर्वात महत्त्वाचे म्हणजे हिमालयाबाबत आणि सध्याच्या घटनेच्या अनुषंगाने सांगायचे तर, येथे हवामान अंदाजापेक्षा माणसाला शिस्तीची गरज जास्त असल्याचे दिसून आले आहे.
रंजन केळकर, माजी संचालक, हवामान खाते

Mountains: the abode of gods

Leave a comment

In the Old Testament, Horeb (Sinai) is referred to as the “mountain of God” (Exodus 3:1,12). God used to call Moses and talk to him from that mountain (Exodus 19:3). It was from His mountain that God proclaimed the Ten Commandments. (Exodus 20)

When God wanted to talk to the prophet Elijah, He called him to Sinai. The mountain was shaken by storm, earthquake and fire and then God spoke to Elijah as if through a gentle breeze, reassuring Elijah that all will be well. (1 Kings 19)

David, when fleeing from his enemies, could say, “I call out to the Lord, and he answers me from His holy mountain.” (Psalm 3:4)

The mountain of God is holy. David asks, “Who may ascend the mountain of the Lord? Who may stand in his holy place?” And he answers his own question, “The one who has clean hands and a pure heart.” (Psalm 24:3)

But the Bible makes it clear that mountains are not to be worshipped. The prophet Amos says, “He who forms the mountains, who creates the wind, and who reveals his thoughts to mankind, who turns dawn to darkness, and treads on the heights of the earth – the Lord God Almighty is his name.” (Amos 4:13)

Faith is greater than mountains. Mountains can be moved, said Jesus, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed. (Matthew 17:20)

In India, millions of people have been climbing mountains, the abode of gods, since ages. Weather in the mountains of north India is uncertain, unreliable and hostile. The terrain is dangerous. And yet people have braved it all, just to experience the presence of god, be it only for a few moments. In the past, it was not uncommon for people never to return home from their arduous journey.

But now things have changed. People exercise their right to climb mountains at any time of the year, in any kind of weather, but they expect that the meteorological department is responsible for bringing them safely back home…!

Thoughts for Earth Day 2013

Leave a comment

Earth Day is being celebrated all over the world on 22 April 2013. On this occasion here are some quotes from the Bible about the earth.

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. (Genesis 1:1)

God saw how corrupt the earth had become, for all the people on earth had corrupted their ways. (Genesis 6:12)

As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will never cease. (Genesis 8:22)

Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth. (Genesis 9:16)

To the Lord your God belong the heavens, even the highest heavens, the earth and everything in it. (Deuteronomy 10:14)

Sing to the Lord, all the earth; proclaim his salvation day after day. (1 Chronicles 16:23)

The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it. (Psalm 24:1)

Shout for joy to God, all the earth! (Psalm 66:1)

Sing to the Lord a new song; sing to the Lord, all the earth. (Psalm 96:1)

I am a stranger on earth; do not hide your commands from me. (Psalm 119:19)

When your judgments come upon the earth, the people of the world learn righteousness. (Isaiah 26:9)

See, I will create new heavens and a new earth. The former things will not be remembered, nor will they come to mind. (Isaiah 65:17)

This is what the Lord says: Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool. Where is the house you will build for me? Where will my resting place be? (Isaiah 66:1)

Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. (Matthew 5:5)

You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? (Matthew 5:13)

Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. (Matthew 6:19)

You know how to interpret the appearance of the earth and the sky. How is it that you don’t know how to interpret this present time? (Luke 12:56)

But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, where righteousness dwells. (2 Peter 3:13)

The time has come for …. destroying those who destroy the earth.” (Revelation 11:18)

Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,” for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away …. (Revelation 21:1)

————————-

Older Entries

%d bloggers like this: