Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Rainmaker blues

Harking back to the classic Thoda Sa Roomani Ho Jaaye (1990), Nana Patekar plays a wandering rainmaker who claims he can bring rains during a drought for a fee of Rs 10,000. This is how he introduces himself- "Dhrushtadhumna Padmanabh Nilkanth Dhumketu Barishkar naam hai mera, aur baarish lana kaam hai mera!". While he does manage to shake up his client's family scene, the rains he promised dont come easily and he ends up nearly losing his fees.

Yesterday I came across this historical account of San Diego from the early 1900s which convinced me that Barishkar isnt the only rainmaker with professional problems. Quoting (abridged) from California- An Interpretive History :

"The city of San Diego had often shown desperate ingenuity in its long struggle with its water problems. In December 1915 in the midst of a particularly serious drought it had even signed a contract with a professional rainmaker, Charles M. Hatfield who promised to fill the Morena reservoir for a fee of $10,000. A few weeks later a cloudburst overflowed the reservoir, washed out a smaller dam below it, and flooded a part of the town. The city council refused to pay Hatfield his fee; they pointed out that he had contracted to fill the reservoir, not to flood the community."


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