MALDA, 30 JUNE: Just when the Malda Ramkrishna Mission was preparing to organise Ban O Varsha Baran Utsav in order to please the rain God, who they hoped would overcome the present sultry conditions, English Bazaar town finally received a short spell of rain this morning after a long dry period which lasted for 45 minutes from 9 am. People's relief was palpable from dawn, when the drizzling started.
The district town last received rain during the cyclonic storm, Aila. Since then, the people have faced significant difficulties in leading normal lives due to the continuing sultry situation.
The people, based on superstition, feared that the rain would only come on the departure of the circus show which has been performing at English Bazaar town over the last week.
“The circus team can stem the rain by offering puja, and they know occult methods and incantations of enchantment to drive the clouds away so that the rain does not disturb their show,” locals said.
Many parts of Malda district, even in the outskirts of the town, have been receiving rain since Sunday, but until this morning there was no rain in English Bazaar town despite the presence of clouds in the sky.
Aged people were also worried about the abnormal pattern of rainfall when the district did not receive a drop of rain on the occasion of Vaishnavite Ramkeli Fair in Gour, famous for its historical ruins, and in Rathayatra.
“I have heard that the circus team offers prayer before its inauguration in a new place so that a shower does not disturb its show,” said Swami Divyananda, the secretary of the Malda Ramkrishna Mission.
Mr J Raja, manager of the circus team, Ajanta Circus, said: “We do not belief such a puja can stop the rain. Besides, our circus team members belong to Hindu, Muslim, Christian, Mongolian and African communities. How could we offer puja and know incantations of any power to change the weather?” Mr Raja said.
Following in the footsteps of Santinikatan, hundreds of students of Ramkrishna Mission's Vivekananda Vidyamandir offered a prayer, organizing Ban O Varsha Baran Utsav under the leadership of Swami Shivaprada-nanda, principal of the school, at about 12:30 p.m. today. The additional district magistrate, the additional police superintendent, the divisional forest officer and other officials were present.