After having failed to appease rain god Indra to bless them with a timely monsoon, traders in Rajasthan’s Barmer district bordering Pakistan, have turned to spirits to save them from the possibility of a drought.
Late on Saturday, local traders performed a special ritual at a crematorium to please spirits with the superstitious belief that these ghosts often cast spells to delay the monsoon showers, there will be timely rains will arrive on schedule.
Traders offered more than two quintals food grains to spirits of people who, the traders believe died unnatural deaths and wander aimlessly and cast evil spells and delay the monsoon.
According to local beliefs, spirits of people that still roam about as wishes whiles they were alive were not fulfilled and delay rain and to appease these wandering spirits, a special yagna was organized at the crematorium, said Ramesh Joshi, a local priest.
“During the yagna we invoked spirits of these wondering souls and offered them food grain. If these spirits are pleased, they will not delay rain,” he said.
“Based on our previous experiences, we are expecting rain in the next 72 hours.”
A delayed monsoon can have a domino effect on local businesses that depend on agriculture, said Gautam Sankhlecha, a local trader and member of Anaj Vyapaar Sangh.
“The local trade is directly dependent on farming and if the harvest fails it will hit our business,” he said.
“Fearing that monsoon will be delayed, last week, we performed a special puja at Krishi Mandi complex to appease the rain god but failed to get any results.”
“After we came to know about spirits were delaying rain, we organized a special yagna at the crematorium to appease them,” he said, adding that traders were expecting a good monsoon soon in the region.
While most parts of the state have been receiving good rain, farmers in the border district fear that if monsoon fails, they will suffer from drought for the third consecutive year as they faced a similar situation last year.
Due to delayed monsoon, farmers could not sow kharif crops. This year, after the met department predicted a good monsoon, local farmers purchased seeds from the market and even has booked workers for helping them in sowing of kharif crop. But if it does not rain this year as well, sowing will not take place, they fear.
Barmer has so far received 49.06 mm of rainfall this year against an average rainfall of 243.40 mm. Jaipur until now, has received 325.71 mm of rainfall against an average of 524.60 mm.
The met department, however, has predicted that monsoon will hit Barmer on Sunday, revising its early prediction that monsoon would hit the district in the first week of July.