The Seasons in India
In England and in other European countries, the seasons of the year are Spring, Summer, Autumn, and Winter. But in parts of India, such as Madras, Bengal, and Bombay, these names do have not much meaning.
For example in Madras, it is always hot all through the year, and there is little to mark off winter from summer. In such places, we do not speak of hot seasons and cold seasons, but of dry seasons and rainy seasons. In Madras there are two rainy seasons – the longer, from June to September, is due to the blowing of the moist monsoon winds from the southwest; the shorter, in November, is the north-east monsoon, which brings rain to the east coast of India, but does not much affect the rest of the country. All the rest of the year is dry, except for the “mango-showers” in May.
Bombay and the west coast get the full benefit of the monsoon, which first breaks on the Western Ghats and brings an abundance of rain. May and June, when the sea breezes fail are the hottest months. In North India, the climate is in some ways more like that of western countries. There is a real winter, for the months of December and January are really cold in North India, and there is often frost at night. February, March, and even April are spring months-though April is sometimes far hotter than the hottest summer in England. May and June are very hot, dry months. The monsoon usually breaks in July; August and September are the rainy seasons, but the weather is still very hot. A change comes in October, the air becoming rapidly cooler; and November is a pleasant autumn month.
The seasons in North India enable the farmers to get two crops in the year, from their land. When the monsoon breaks in July, the farmers begin to plough for the Kharif, or autumn harvest-mainly maize, cotton, and sugar. As soon as this is reaped, they plough and sow wheat, for the Rabi or spring crop, which they reap in March.