In another 50 years, he was confident, we would move the clouds. “Or, maybe 100 years,” he conceded. The researcher was responding to my joke about the weatherman never getting it right.
“Then we will decide how much it should rain, when and where,” he looked and sounded serious. “We will have timetables. It will rain in Mumbai from July 10 to 13. In Delhi from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. No traffic jam during the day.” He looked up to see if I was with him. “In fact, why should it rain in cities? Such a nuisance! We will direct the clouds to farms and lakes.”
I wondered if the wave that pushed a taxi around in Mumbai was an accident. Maybe the cabbie had a rival with a score to settle? And some advanced technology?
I thought of the Indian cricket team in England, about to lose a match badly. The captain would have loved to organize some rain to wash out play for a day or two.
What if we went beyond clouds? How would those more equal than most use the power?
“They refuse to vacate? I want a tsunami there. We will wait till the land dries up and then start constructing. And don’t forget to set up relief camps.”
“They used to shake in fear before us. How dare they not vote for us! Let’s give them a good quake. Cut off the roads first. I want to see where they go.”
Somewhere far away, the ocean roils and heaves as a disputed island keeps sinking and rising up.
Lightning gets choosy, accurately striking twice and more, but only those picked to char.
Dead volcanoes erupt. The wind regulates where the ash would settle and smother. Lava flows to order.
After an uneasy night, I am back on the road driving to work the next morning. The sky is a pretty blue. The sun reflecting off the puddles on the road is blinding.
The weather forecast was for the heavy rains to continue for another 48 hours. I am amused. No, I am relieved.
All is well. At least for the next 50 or 100 years.