The March sky outside is a paler version of the August sky back home. Like it wants to rain, but is too lazy to.
“They’re seeding clouds again, apparently. So the untimely rains.”
Cloud seeding – I like the term. There’s so much potential to it.
There’s this man – dark, old and wise – who has been doing this for centuries, you see. He has an ancient bamboo basket, a triangular one like an inverted pyramid, woven out of bamboo strips, filled to the brim with little cumulonimbus seeds. He hitches it on to his waist, and climbs up the beanstalk, all the way to the pale blue sky. There, he takes handfuls of those blue-grey seeds and scatters them in the wind.
The seeds soak up the sky… and grow and grow… Into little cloudlings…
Or maybe there’s a machine there, which churns out clouds from those seeds. Like cotton candy from sugar granules, you know?
But then, why are they – the cloudlings, I mean – pale? Slightly bilious?
Maybe these seeds come from genetically modified clouds. Well, maybe not genetically modified, but at least lab-grown. One can’t expect them to have the same thunderous blue-grey as the Zeus variety.
I love fairytales too.
“They use chemicals, don’t they?”
“Salt. At least that’s what I heard.”
Not according to Wikipedia. It lists silver iodide, potassium iodide, dry ice (solid carbon dioxide, no less!) and liquid propane as the chemicals commonly used. A whole lot of iodine, and not a trace of sodium chloride.
Hypothyroidism, anyone? Stand in the rain. P.S. Safe for those with hypertension.
“What are they trying to do, yaar? Turn this desert into an effing jungle?”
“That would be so cool!”
“Cool…? Well, maybe. But how would it matter to you and me?”
I look out of the train window at the stadium sprawled beneath us, and imagine a rain forest springing up there. Trees taller than the floodlight posts. Gigantic creepers with huge flowers covering the gallery… Monkeys, birds and butterflies… Maybe giant toadstools, fireflies…
“Imagine what a sight it would be! For as long as we live here, I mean.”
“Hmm. Good for them, at least.”
Them, the desert people. Who inherited the ocean floor from the sea people.
“Good for us too.”
Us, the land-and-coast-and-mountain people. Who co-exist in harmony with the desert people and help them build dreams in exchange for dirhams. Us, who climb up beanstalks, and scatter handfuls of seeds in the wind. Those little multi-coloured seeds that will grow and grow… Into dreamscapes bleached by the desert sun and tasting ever so slightly of salt.
“It’s all good. Good for them, good for us.”
“If you say so.”
*All images courtesy Google.