This is a snippet from Dinesh Kr. Mishra's book "Living With the Politics of Floods: The Mystery of Flood Control".
The Celebration of Floods
"People welcomed floods in the Kosi as the river water approached them. Women sang songs eulogizing the river. They would request the river to go back if it continued to rise. If the request was not met, the women would put vermilion powder into the river to threaten it with marriage. They hoped that the Kosi, being a virgin and unsteady river, would recede for fear of marriage. It is a common belief in villages that the rivers having a defined course are stable and behave responsibly like a married woman with a family to look after. The unstable rivers are viewed as maidens free from all worries and brimming with energy. The Kosi has no defined course and naturally, people treat her as a maiden. " (photo copyright S. Vishwanath, Rainwater Club) S.Vishwanath of Rainwater Club makes the point that in all the talk of checkdams, progressive tariffs and elbow joints, we miss out of the cultural and aesthetic aspects of water. He referred to the well in this photo as a 'magnificent' structure. Would you have seen that aspect of it ? --V