Update for week ended 4 June 2010
The Indian summer is at its peak. It is hot and wherever close to the sea or ocean, it is humid as well. But I find it interesting at times, when people complain of the heat and also go to the extent of terming this the hottest summer they have seen. Odd, because the mercury levels are largely at the same levels as they have been in previous years; but yes, if you get used to working in airconditioned offices, travel in air conditioned cars, shop in airconditioned malls and supermarkets, then spending some time at home without the air conditioner, can be quite severely hot; moreso if it is a weekend, when you really cannot rush off to the office to cool off. How different from our childhood days when we switched to wearing muslin kurtas and white pyjamas; and had oil baths every alternate day; and our mothers or aunts or grannies would smear oodles of aromatic oils onto our heads to cool us off. Playtime was always after 5 pm in the evening; and white cotton hats or caps were the de riguer. Mornings were lazy with lots of nudgings and yellings to awaken; and then the lazy stretches, yawns, sleepy eyed brushing of teeth would be followed with slow sips of the morning milk. Mid mornings were many a times sprinkled with interesting activities, like slyly eating the raw mangoes that the women of the house had just cleaned and chopped up for pickling; or popping in the freshly steamed vadams (the intermediate stage for crispy rice or sago crackers), instead of spreading it out to dry. Of course, over-indulgence is at times a reward for helping out with the chores; like taking the large bowls of mixed pickles for sunning; or helping with drying out the vadams on stretches of old saris or dhotis on the hot and sunny terraces. A little discomfort is bided by for the extra treats. Afternoons were snooze times in the cooler rooms, after the light lunch. And the wakening drink of cool vetiver (khus) or rose milk is a welcome energizer before heading out to play with friends. Summer was also the time to reunite with cousins either at your house or their house, or the best part, at grampa’s. I don’t remember us complaining of the heat with power cuts and no air conditioners, perhaps because there was no school!
Summer heat has been driving the D boyz into a tizzy. First they spend time thinking about Greeced poles and let the SENSEX slide, and then they hear from the weather bureau of a normal monsoon, and rejoiced; pulling back the SENSEX. The cyclone in the Arabian sea spun them out of control, wrecking the SENSEX upward move; and when the D Boyz were told that it was headed towards the Omani coast, they felt relieved. One day, Greek made no sense, while the other day, it did not matter. So after a month of heady ups and spiraling downs, the SENSEX is now at 17117. But let me assure you that even if the D Boyz are worried about Spanish paellas or Greek Moussaka; the Spaniards are only focused on South Africa while the Greeks don’t have much of a choice, but they will still focus on South Africa and root for a European team as long as it is not Turkey. So D Boyz, stop worrying about others; let us enjoy the football season.
Umbrellas are common sight in Kerala – rain or shine; quite useful against the oppressive heat. Interestingly, no other part of India uses this against the summer sun. It may have something to do with the Chinese connect that this little state has; from its fishing nets, to the cheena chatti (frying woks), or cheena bharanis (the porcelain pickle jars); to the Pagoda style roofs for their homes. Don’t forget that the oriental Asians are the only others always prepared with an umbrella, rain or shine! Trust me.
So what do you plan to do this weekend to take your mind off the “oppressive” heat! My take is simple, if it is summer, it will be hot!!