Monday, September 7, 2015

Life with Monsoon ..............

Getting wet in the rain very childish experience that we loved. Here in Sri Lanka we don’t have winter where we can ski, the rain is the only seasonal climatic change .As a child I had problems with rain that was wake up in the morning going to school in the heavy rain, but I did stay home and sneaked off form home and rode the bicycle in the muddy road in rain…fondness of the rain not very childish as adults we enjoy the rain differently.
Even though we are Sri Lankans more or less we all fans of Bollywood movies. From the very beginning the Bollywood movies understood how much we love rain. A song in the rain is a typical element in most of Bollywood movies, From Dilip Kumar to Sharukh Khan and Bimal Roy to Karan Johar they all did rainy song we all still watching.

Actually in our hot and humidity climate the rain is a big relief. That is the only natural way of reducing heat in tropics, Also we still based on agriculture, what can we do if we did not get rain properly?We have a Monsoon life...we planed our life according to the monsoon pattern , the  monsoon it is part of our life....
In Sri Lanka we have three main ways of getting rain, out of all the monsoon is the most important. Our rainfall pattern is influenced by the monsoon winds of the Indian Ocean and Bay of Bengal and is marked by four seasons. The first is from mid-May to October, when winds originate in the southwest, bringing moisture from the Indian Ocean. When these winds encounter the slopes of the Central Highlands, they unload heavy rains on the mountain slopes and the southwestern sector of the island.
The second season occurs in October, the inter monsoonal months. During this season, periodic squalls occur and sometimes tropical cyclones bring overcast skies and rains to the southwest, northeast, and eastern parts of the September, October we have very heavy rains. The mean annual rainfall varies from under 900mm in the driest parts (southeastern and northwestern) to over 5000mm in the wettest parts.
The central hills before we cultivated tea it was covered with trees. The root system of the trees absorbs the heavy rain during rainy season and little by little filtered water to the lower grounds. Now central hills areas cover with trees to absorb the water. But now   have tea plantations cover all mountains which do not have strong root system to absorb monsoon rain. Any more water does not filter thorough, now it’s flowing over highlands and causing to floods in the lower levels and heavy drought in rest of the years. These are sensitive climatic issues that we are facing, unless we did not act in far sighted vision we will be in trouble. The rainy season of Sri Lanka causing disastrous landslides losing our beloved ones.
I t was the great king Parakramabhahu (1153-86) who told “not even a little water that comes from the rain must flow into the ocean without being made useful to man”. He did not stop saying only it he made the largest man made tank in Polonnaruwa which known as” Parakramabhahu samudraya”( The Parakramabhahu sea)Even today we using Parakrama Samudraya  as the main source                 of water  and Polonnaruwa area still supplies large  amount rice  requirement to the country. We Sri Lankans without rice we don’t feel that we ate. Still the King Parakrama Bhahu looking at the magnificent tank.
 If you are visit Polonnaruwa you can see the stone statue of the King Parakrama Bhahu. This is how our proud history responded to the monsoon.
I wish we will never experience “the November rain. “In Sri Lanka November we don’t expect heavy rains, but we starting to feel little cold December.
“When I look into your eyes
I can see a love restrained
But darlin' when I hold you
Don't you know I feel the same
Nothin' lasts forever
And we both know hearts can change
And it's hard to hold a candle
In the cold November rain
We've been through this such a long long time
Just tryin' to kill the pain, oo yeah
But love is always coming and love is always going
And no one's really sure who's lettin' go today Walking away”

Well I also agree nothing last forever…but it is very hard to accept it sometimes. For me this is the most heart touching song by Guns N' Roses.Though I ‘m not very much fan of music videos but the music video of this song is a brilliant piece of work. Even real life Axl Rose was married with Stephanie Seymour. When they broke up over a year Axl Rose sent flowers to her pleading for second chance.
Nothing is forever…….for everyone Axl Rose…..

As an Architect I have a love and hate relationship with the rain. Our traditional houses always responded to the heavy monsoon. The hip or gable roof with long eve keep away the rain coming to our houses, even most influential Architect of our region architect Geffrey Bawa did not challenge the monsoon rain with novel roof designs. Even his last project; the Marissa House covered with large single pitch roof, but allow to enjoy the monsoon sea.
But as young architect I don’t have the patience, being bit of stubborn also forgetting how my client is going to suffer during monsoon, I prefer to have flat roof. For my understanding flat roofs are very architecturally pleasing. Our clients often coming with small pots less than 12 perches. Flat roofs could be a vertical garden where you don’t have a garden in the ground level. Also we don’t rain throughout the year. As architect we can still play with rain. That why I love rain…it is always very playful…The Ruhuna University mastering the Sri Lankan Roofs....

What I hate about rain is we can’t help it makes our projects delaying. This unpredictable monsoon patterns causing to lot of delays at site. Yesterday at site a one building looks like an extension of the Berei Lake.It is sad what happed at site…but can we blame to Monsoon…..?

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