Anjana Neira Dev
CHASING THE RAIN by By Mukta Patil. Illustrated by David Yamben Pratham Books Level 4, Bengaluru, 2022, pp., INR 90.00
November 2023, volume 47, No 11

This is a story of real heroes and heroines, those ‘incredible people’ working across the length and breadth of India to help us decode the monsoon in all its shape shifting avatars. These are the scientists, atmospheric physicists, statisticians, meteorologists, academics, researchers, farmers, members of civil society and indigenous communities, who have joined hands to make the monsoon a time of joy and thanksgiving once again, as it traditionally was, and not something to dread, as floods alternate with droughts and devastate lives and livelihoods. This well-researched and interesting story brings home to us in compelling ways, the impact of climate change on our beautiful planet, the only home we have. If the first part of the story deals with the vagaries of the monsoon and its deleterious impact on our lives and is a doomsday prophecy of the bleak future of the natural world if we do not mend our ways, the second brings a ray of hope as we are told about initiatives being taken to cope with climate change and adapt to the changing patterns of the cycles of nature. The book ends with the hope that we can once again dance with joy when the first drops of rain fall on the parched earth and look up at the sky with relief and profound gratitude and thankfulness. Mukta Patil and David Yamben have given young readers hope, inspiration and a direction, as they prepare to make the world a happier place where nature once again becomes a benevolent friend and not an enemy to fear.