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Home » , » What picture of rainy season do you get in Nirad C. Chaudhuri's "The River and the Rains"?
Nirad C. Chaudhuri' in his "The River and the Rains", a selection from his masterpiece The Autobiography of an Unknown Indian, depicts the life of the villagers and the people of his native town Kishorganj during the rainy season and draw a picture of rainy season .

In "The River and the Rains" the writer gives a vivid description of the changes brought about during the rainy season. The dry river became full to the brim, water went swiftly and it permitted navigation. The new water of the monsoon invited many creatures like frogs, leeches to ravel in the river. It also attracted innumerable peasants with bamboo cages and nets to catch fish. Fishing continued till the water became too deep.

During the rainy season the river became full to the brim and the overflowing water submerged the adjacent areas. This gave rise to another situation. The contrast between the general poverty and the few surviving heirlooms of the river vanished for about four months every year during the rainy season.
picture of rainy season

During rainy season as the river flew with water, boats began to ply on it. At first, boats appeared in twos and threes and then in great numbers. The plying of the boats on the rivers was the most beautiful and loveliest sight to the writer and others. The boats presented a very pleasing picture to the people. During the day the boats were a pretty and friendly sight. At night they became something more, mysterious. The boats were adomed with kerosene lamps, whose light was not sharp enough to break the thick darkness around. Thus in the nearly solid darkness the boats appeared as blurred masses and this created mystery.

During the rainy season some majestic boats of some British Lords would appear once or twice in the river every year. But the majestic appearance of those palatial boats did not fit with the surrounding atmosphere. At that time of the year, boat-races often took place on this little river. Scores of racing boats came for the occasion. The writer gives a graphic description of the boat race and relates his experience of enjoying the boat race in the river--  "Scores of racing boats came for the occasion. They were open, narrow, and long boats, brightly painted on the sides with red, yellow, blue, green and white floral or geometrical patterns, and with tigers, leopards,peacocks or dolphin heads on the bows and stems........ We gazed bewitched at the boats as they darted past us one after another to the accompaniment of tremendous chorus, and we trembled with suspense".

Life was very difficult and hard during the rainy season. Everything became wet to the morrow of the bone. Getting out of the house was very difficult as there was so much mud and slush all around. The heavy downpour would often interrupt the normal activity of the people. Villagers used to use a line of bricks laid at intervals of two or three feet to go from one hut to another and meals were often held up by unseasonable showers.

The tremendous drenching power of the rain was brought home by the dripping as well as by the sight of the visitors and birds. The crows looked pitiable in the rainy season. The mynas also could not withstand the heavy rains, which made them dead and stiff in their nests on the betel-nut palms.But one of the most attractive and engaging sights of the season was to be seen in the inner courtyard of the house, when there was a heavy downpour. The rain came down in packed formations of long pencils of glasslike water and hit the ground. At first the pencils only pitted the sandy soils, but as soon as the water had collected all around they began to bounce off the surface of water and pop up and down in the form of tiny puppets. Every square inch of ground seemed to receive one of the little things, and the water logged yard was broken up into a pattern which was not only mobile but dizzy in motion. Myriads of tiny watery marionettes, each with an expanding circle of water at its feet presented such a magical dancing display to the writer and the others that they had never dream of seeing such a splendid sight in real life.

Thus in "The River and the Rains" the author describes the atmosphere of the little town Kishorganj, the writer's birthplace during the rainy season. The author also describes the life led by people at that time of the year. The season was a mixed blessing for the inhabitants of the town and the villagers. The season not only made brought diversity and activity to life, it also made life difficult in any respects.

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