The Selfish Giant’s Garden: It is still summer in Patna

Patna: “Then the Spring came, and all over the country there were little blossoms and little birds. Only in the garden of the Selfish Giant it was still Winter. The birds did not care to sing…and the trees forgot to blossom.” 

These are lines from Oscar Wilde’s classic short story The Selfish Giant

Ditto with Patna. Even as it is raining in sheets in vast parts of the country – with road and train traffic getting disrupted, flights delayed and low-lying areas getting submerged – it is still summer in Patna.

Rain gods yet to smile

On Saturday, the day temperature in the city was a sizzling 41.6 degrees Celsius – the highest in the month of July over the past 36 years. The situation was no better in many other cities of the state. In Gaya, the mercury stood at 39.7 degrees, in Bhagalpur at 40.6 degrees and in Purnea at 40.1 degrees. Except for east Bihar, the rain gods are yet to smile on other parts of the state.

The weatherman says that the hot weather would prevail for at least five more days. S. Sengupta, director of the Meteorological Centre, Patna said that ‘local thunder storms’ may infuse some moisture into the atmosphere and that the temps may come down.

Peasants a worried lot

The farmers hardly care for the meteorological jargon. The extended summer has made them extremely worried. The paddy plants, which need ample water, are withering and cracks are appearing in the soil. They don’t know how to save the plants. Suresh Paswan of Budhnagra village near here said that he has already spent Rs 10,000 on arranging water to irrigate the field. “But I cannot afford to spend even a pie more,” he said.