Somewhere there was someone knee-deep in water, somewhere a car had broken down in the middle of the road because of engine failure, and somewhere traffic congestion had become a nightmare for the city dwellers. This was how Bangladesh welcomed the beginning of the monsoon season this year as heavy rain saw drainpipes block and streets turn into rivers.
With the country's summer drawing to a close, a number of heat waves had made life unbearable, leading Facebook users to post about the soaring temperatures on their timelines. Then the monsoon season hit and scorching hot became soaking wet. Tension gave way to relief.
Bangladesh is a land of six seasons. Barsha (rainy) is one of them. It comprises the Bengali months of Ashar and Shrabon (mid-June to mid-August). The south-west monsoon from the Bay of Bengal strikes leading to intense rainfall in many parts of the country. Some 80% of the country's total annual rainfall occurs during Barsha.
People welcomed the monsoon on social media, while criticising drainage facilities in Dhaka, the 11th most populous city in the world with almost 17 million people according to a 2014 UN report.
Journalist Probhash Amin wrote:
বৃষ্টি আমার খুব প্রিয়। বিশেষ করে বৃষ্টি ভেজা সকালে ঘুরে বেড়াতে ভালো লাগে। বৃষ্টি ভেজা সকালটা সবুজের সাথে কাটাতে ভালো লাগে। আমি জানি বৃষ্টি হলে অনেক মানুষের অনেক অসুবিধা হয়, যেমন সকালে প্রসূনকে স্কুলে দিতে গিয়ে আমাকেও ভোগান্তিতে পড়তে হয়েছে। সকালের বৃষ্টি স্কুল আর অফিসগামী মানুষকে চরম দুর্ভোগে ফেলে। আর খোলা আকাশের নিচে যাদের বাস, তাদের দুর্ভোগের তো সীমা নেই।
I love rain. I like to walk in the wet morning especially where it is green. I know rain makes our regular life difficult. This morning I also faced troubles when I was taking my son Proshun to school. Students and office goers suffer most from the morning rain. For those people that live under the open skies, there is no end to their suffering.
Activist Akku Chowdhury wrote on Facebook:
What a beautiful monsoon day to start the morning with! Walked to work in the rain as the avenue is blocked for rain and the [Bangladeshi] PM's visit!
The advent of the monsoon always produces vivid images:
Despite its obvious drawbacks the monsoon season brings with it a unique beauty and unusual blessings. People celebrate the season in their own ways.