The monsoon is generally ushered into India by thunderstorms. Before the monsoon breaks, the weather is very hot, the ground is baked hard and dry, and the wind is like the blast of a furnace. It is, therefore, a welcome sight to see black clouds forming in the south-west and darkening the sky. The air is very still, and everything seems to be waiting. The black clouds, which hang in a low dark arch across the sky, come nearer; and now and then can be heard the rumbling of distant thunder, and flickering of lightning seen in the dark clouds. Then a cool, moist wind that smells of rain begins to blow —the wind that is bringing the storm. The roll of thunder grows louder, and the flashes of lightning more vivid.
At last, the sky overhead is dark with clouds. The wind rises to a gale, yellow with dust. A blinding lightning-flash, followed at once by a deafening crash of thunder—and then the rain pours down in torrents. For half-an-hour, may be, the thunder crashes and rolls, the lightning flashes, the heavy rain pelts down, and the howling wind blows with fury. Indra, the mighty lord of rain and thunderstorm, is passing by, riding in his golden car, with the terrible Maruts.
Then the storm slackens. The wind drops, the broken clouds sweep on, the thunder becomes a low rumble. Above, the blue sky is seen, the sun shines out again, the wind dies down to a gentle breeze. Streams and rivers are full of rushing muddy water; the earth is wet and soft; the tress and the grass are fresh and green; the air is cool and clean. A great stillness comes over everything. The monsoon has broken, and the farmer rejoices.
Read this ancient Hebrew poem, in which the poet describes his deliverance by God under the figure of a thunderstorm:
“He bowed the heavens, also, and came down;
And thick darkness was under His feet.
He rode upon a cherub, and did fly;
Yea, He flew swiftly upon the wings of the wind.
He made darkness His hiding place, His pavilion round about Him.
Darkness of waters, thick clouds of the sky.
At the brightness before Him, His thick clouds passed;
Hailstones and coals of fire!
The LORD also thundered in the heavens,
The Most High uttered His voice;
Hailstones and coals of fire;
He sent out His arrows and scattered them;
Yea, lightnings manifold, and discomfited them
He sent from on high, He took me;
He drew me out of many waters.
He delivered me from my strong enemy,
And from them that hated me.”
So comes the monsoon to. the deliverance of the parched land, and saves the people from famine.