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Know More: Fun in the Monsoon

Knowledge
The monsoons are a lot of fun - they offer children three months' time to enjoy the wet weather, lightning, thunderstorms and rainbows. And of course, schools often end up giving at least two or three impromptu holidays. It is a time to splash about in muddy puddles, get wet in the rain and enjoy the damp fragrance of the muddy earth. It is also a time when our health needs to be protected, our pets need to be cared for and our homes need to be de-bugged of earthworms, flies and frogs!

RAINBOWS

The rainbow is actually nothing but an optical phenomenon. This spectrum of light, or rainbow, appears in the sky when the sun shines through the droplets of moisture in the Earth's atmosphere. A rainbow has seven colours namely violet, indigo, blue, green, yellow, orange and red (VIBGYOR). Originally, Sir Isaac Newton identified only five colours but later he included orange and indigo. Rainbows are spotted during the monsoons, more towards the end, and are commonly seen near waterfalls or fountains. 

Rainbows have been studied for many years now. In fact, a mention of rainbows has also been found in different mythologies. In Greek mythology, a rainbow was considered to be a path made by a messenger who was travelling between Earth and heaven. In Chinese mythology, the rainbow was a slit in the sky sealed by goddess Nuwa, who is known for repairing the wall of heaven using stones of five different colours. In Hindu mythology, a rainbow is called an 'Indradhanush' meaning 'bow of Indra', the God of lightning, thunder and rain. According to the Christian religion, after Noah's flood the rainbow gained meaning as the sign of God's promise that life would never again be destroyed by a flood. Rainbows definitely add beauty to the grey skies. So the next time you spot a rainbow, you can either capture it on your camera or draw out the entire scene along with the rainbow.

Did you know that rainbows have variations too? 

A supernumerary rainbow is a rare phenomenon and consists of several faint rainbows on the inner side of the primary rainbow. A double rainbow is when you see a dim secondary rainbow outside the darker rainbow. These secondary rainbows are caused by a double reflection of sunlight inside the raindrops.Since they are second reflections, the colours of secondary rainbows are inverted compared to primary rainbows.

MONSOON ACTIVITIES

Treks:
If you are looking for adventure, trekking in the monsoon is always great fun. Take a look at some of these trekking options.
  • Bombay Natural History Society has organised a monsoon camp to Matheran. On this camp you can spot birds like the White-cheeked Barbet, Malabar Whistling Thrush, Vigor's Sunbird, Nilgiri Flowerpecker, Malabar Parakeet, Orange-headed Thrush, White-rumped Shama, Gold-fronted Leafbird and many more. For more information call 022- 22871202/ 22821811 or e-mail bnhs. programmes@gmail.com
  • Sahayadri Adventures has organised monsoon treks to Malshej Ghat, Nane Ghat, Lonavala, tribal villages and more. These trips begin from Delhi, Pune and Mumbai. For details log on to http://sahyadri.himadventures.net/index.htm
Boat Races:
When it pours, most city dwellers see streams of water running down the road. Make the most of these streams by making paper boats and inviting your friends to do the same. Once it stops raining, get out there and leave your boat in the stream of water. Does your boat sink or swim? This will depend on the kind of paper you have used and the technique used while folding the paper to create the boat. Your boat may be challenged by the wind or water pouring from trees, so make sure you make a strong boat.

Paint in the Rain:
Take a large paper plate or a sheet of paper and sprinkle a few drops of fabric paint on it. While it is still wet, keep the sheet somewhere where a few drops of rainwater hit it and then bring it inside. Make sure it's not raining too heavily as this will cause the paint to run. As the rain hits the paper, you'll find swirls of colour forming on it. The rain water smudges the colour and creates different shapes on your paper. Let it dry. When it has dried, compare your painting with those of your friends. You could try and move the paper horizontally to get different shapes and swirls!

Thunder Chairs:
This game is exactly like musical chairs but instead of music from a music system, you need to play the game when it thunders during a thunderstorm. Run around the chairs when it thunders and when it stops, grab a seat immediately. This game can only be played when it thunders so forget about your fear of thunder and enjoy the loud music created by the skies!


FOOD

With the monsoons come mosquitoes and flies. These pests breed in stagnant waters so ensure you do not have stagnant waterbodies around your house. It is also important to cover all kinds of cooked and uncooked food to keep them clear of these pests. Wash and clean all the fruits and vegetables you consume. Contaminated food or water is the most common way in which diseases spread in the monsoon so eat food cooked at home no matter how interesting the golas, bhajiyas, puchkas and bhel seem on the road. Pakodas, chaat and corn bhel go best with best friends and good movies seen at home!
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