India in pictures

A Storm Brewing

8:22 AM

A storm brewing in Bangalore

This picture was taken in May 2010 (16th to be exact). I fished it out of the SD card in the digital SLR after I decided to use it more often, and instantly remembered how we came to take that very picture.

It was while we were still living in our old rooftop terrace apartment in Bangalore. DH had given his one month notice to his previous company, and we knew we were Navi Mumbai bound. We were making our peace with the fact we were leaving Bangalore, and the flat we loved to turn a new chapter in our life.

May in Bangalore sees more and more Summer storms, promising the arrival of the monsoon and much cooler days to come for the remaining of the year. These storms usually develop very quickly and hit with a lot of violence. That one in particular did show as a dark mass of clouds in the distance, that moved toward us at a sudden fast pace. Like in movies, you could see the swirls of clouds growing and moving like greedy hands toward you.
DH only had the time to run inside to grab the camera hoping to catch the creepy mass of cloud opening like a vortex of doom. Alas when he came back out seconds later the mass had exploded into an all dark sky already, and the wind started howling and threatening to flatten a few trees. Minutes later it was thundering, then pouring down. And as quick as the storm came, it left.

We loved watching these storms, the light show alone is usually worth it. And I remember we talked about how we would miss these in our new life in Mumbai. And I do still miss them...years later. How can you not just stop what you are doing to gaze at such a sky? This storm in the picture occurred around noon, our terrace was South facing, the sky turned from bright and sunny to almost night like in minutes. How can you not be humbled by such a fierce display by Mother Nature?

I am glad this picture survived all our computer crashes over the past few years and lived on the SD card instead. It was one good memory to stumble upon in an unexpected way.


  1. "And as quick as the storm came, it left."
    The storms during the monsoon here in the Himalayas are just as violent & capricious.
    All Hell breaks loose then it's all over in 1-2 hours, only to be repeated the next day.
    In my native California we would get these HUGE storms that would blow in from the Pacific ocean & last for 1 to 2 weeks at a time during the winter & early spring. Rain, thunder & lightning were rarities also as California is mostly desert.

    1. thunder and lightning is not that common in Mumbai either, we get violent rains and wind and maybe some thunder when the monsoon sets in, then its raining on and off during the whole monsoon, often it can rain non stop for days, but no strong winds and unpredictable storms. Then it can be that we get one or two storms when the monsoon withdraws, but that is it. I love watching thunderstorms, and I miss them over here.

  2. Anonymous4:29 PM

    Beautiful picture, Cyn. We get violent thunder and lightning storms here in S Florida during our rainy season, May-Sept. I like to watch the rain, especially from indoors. It can rain inches in just a few minutes. This year the rain hasn't stopped yet, but better than the snow they're getting elsewhere in the country. Susan

    1. It comes pouring down and does rain inches in just a few minutes here in Mumbai. In Bangalore even during the monsoon we get 2-3 hours of rain at a time and a big breather in between.
      I love to watch the rain from indoor too, and in Bangalore I would just stay on the terrace to watch the lightning until it started raining, there is something really energizing about storms, they pull me to the balcony, window, terrace. It's been so since childhood, I would get out of bed at night to watch them.

  3. Anonymous11:18 AM

    I thought it was a painting until I saw it clearly. I hate storms. At least here in india. Trees falling and disturbing electric lines followed by power cuts until god knows when. And no water in the overhead tank the next day!! I've come to experience this so many times. This pattern doesn't change at all.

    1. The tree falling and power cuts happened all the time in Bangalore, and in many a case, it was due to people hiring private contractors to snip off a few branches they found disturbing, which lead to unbalancing the tree completely. My neighbours had personal issue with a African tulip tree growing in front of their house and each time flowers started to fall on their roof, they would call someone to come and prune the tree, but only on the half that was near their house, fortunately that huge tree never fell, but there were others in our street that did, again all pruned at the request of residents and never carried by officials, one such tree fell and left us without power for 18 hours straight once. That doesn't make me love watching storms any less, but I sure do dislike when people trim tree in a irresponsible way. In our neighbourhood in Mumbai, they do a pre-monsoon trim of trees, but it is done I telligently in order not to unbalance the tree, only the small and medium branches usually get cut, the big ones are left on the tree. So far not a single tree in my area has fallen, despite the hevy rains that loosen the soil greatly thanks to the fact those in charge know how to do their job.


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