The monsoon, seasonal rain that sweeps across the Indian subcontinent before crashing into the world's tallest mountains, was late, causing the worst drought in 30 years in Mumbai (Bombay), a thousand miles south.
Villagers talked of the arrival of mosquitoes – heralds of warmer summers and milder winters. The accelerated glacial melt is expected to increase floods in countries downstream over coming decades; earlier melts can reduce water when it's needed most.
In the long run, says Madhav Karki, director of the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development, the rivers themselves may become seasonal, with potentially profound effects on the countries below.
Water is power
My travels in South Asia were a reminder of an ancient truth, often lost at the magical turn of a tap: A society's fate turns on its water supply. Water is power.
Covering global water issues, I've seen up close how the gap between the water rich and the water poor is often the line between life and death. In Haiti, I met people who took their water from rivers or nearby wells. Since the outbreak of cholera, those very water sources threaten their lives.