Shriveled old men share a water pipe and one of them points to the skies and shouts "What now, brother?" as they watch men and women carry damaged sugar cane to feed to their cattle. At the edge of fields, young men stand, hands on hips, shaking their heads in dismay.
By now the sugar cane crop should have been at least eight feet tall. Rice paddy crops would have been lush and emerald green. Small patches of pearl millet, corn and sorghum would have dotted the landscape.
But the sun shone on with determination through all of July and most of August so that the cane is now only knee-high at best and most of the rice crop is burnt.
The lack of monsoon rains has also been partly to blame for the worst blackout in world history, which cut power to half of India last month. Large-scale farmers were using extra power to pump water from deep aquifers, and little electricity was being generated by hydropower projects.
Image: In this Thursday, Aug. 23, 2012 photo, a young Indian child rests as a woman prepares meal near their cattle in Bagodara, about 75 kilometers west of Ahmedabad.