Monday, January 06, 2014

They said I would hate winter

Summer is for outdoorsmen- The people who play cricket when it is 45 deg C outside; The ones who talk about Madurai weather with such fondness in their eyes while their shirts get soaked in sweat minutes after they come out of the air-conditioning that they have to scurry back in for their fourth shower of the day.

Back at home, the summers were typically 45 deg Celsius (110-115 deg F). We didn't have air conditioning until after I was in college. Not that it made any difference because we always had (and still have) six hours of power cuts everyday during summers. I remember lying hours together on the floor with my face pressed to the cool marble floor of my home and settling for buckets of lemonade or buttermilk instead of Rasna as it was "unhealthy". Arun ice-cream had a monopoly in Tamil Nadu and the sticks of orange or grape icies were rare treats. In the evenings, my parents and I would splash a lot of water on the clay floored terrace and sit down on "easy chairs" to read, while the gnarled teak leaves fell down and the coconut tree's leaves swayed very gently. By 8 or 9 PM after it turned unbearably humid and hot, I would go down, shower for what would be the third time that day and swathe myself in layers of Nycil (and Dermicool later on). I always prayed that the power shouldn't go off at 4 AM so that I won't wake up in a pool of sweat. Cotton, thin, soft, non-scratchy clothes were the order of the day. My parents and I would shudder at anyone who wore a full sleeve. I remember my mother writing a rather scathing letter to my principal saying how stupid it was to make us wear shoes and socks in Madurai's horrendous climate which was one of her few actually valid reasons to write a scathing letter to the principal.

A room without a fan was a nightmare and my undergrad classrooms didn't have fans while we all fanned ourselves with the thinnest of our engineering books. Imagine being in labs poring over faulty circuit-boards with the hair sticking to the back of your neck for three hours and coming back to the hostel to find that there is no water or power. My roommate and I would hang up towels soaked in water over the windows so that it would cool the room. The laptops would get so hot on the bed that I had to work from a desk. The horror.

God, I hate heat with a vehemence that comes from the twenty three summers of longing for a cooler tomorrow.

Thank goodness for the snow and this list.

  • The crunchy nice new snow every morning
  • Wading through the new snow just because it is so powdery and soft
  • Making the first footprints on fresh snow
  • Short days  warm bed, just being at home
  • My hands getting cold as I type
  • Going around my house reciting Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening with no one to stop me or roll their eyes at me
  • Struggling to say "Wet cappuccino" at the coffee shop with the frozen lips and tongue and getting "Venti  cappuccino" instead

Ha, and they told me I would hate winter.

1 comment:

I AM~~ ME said...

Good one. I liked the way you reminisced your days in India !

Sindhuja A