It’s May 2016. It’s Chennai, and I feel like I’m in a pressure cooker which has been thrown into an oven, in a bizarre experiment to test how long the metal stays solid.
At this moment, think of all the poor people and beggars, in their pathetic clothes, and mattress-less bed on the sidewalk. Think of all those homeless people who are trudging through the day, imagining how staying in a house would be . . .
Pray for these—
Wait a moment. This is horrible! I have to write a post for a blog, and I’m coming up with a speech for the next Miss America.
Better change it, I guess. No Miss America speech. I have to try to tell you a tale about my summertime woes, and not worry about the homeless and the hungry for a while.
Summer in Chennai has always been boiling. Sometimes I wish I could go to the Himalayas for free, get away from this heat . . .
There are those moments when you are fine with the heat, but then, when you go home, and none of the fans are on, and the walls have retained all the heat, you just want to empty your freezer and throw yourself in there.
Around that time, when you have been out in the sun for a long time, jokes just make you snap.
‘Hey, how do you put an elephant in the fridge?’
Figure out a way to put me in the fridge, idiot.
Also, there are those times when you feel so irritated, with the heat and all; you can almost see the heat waves all round you. Crowds . . . aaargh . . . they just make you want to push every person to the ground, and walk up to the front. You simply can’t stand the heat, and the pushing and pulling all around in the crowd. Everyone is sweating, and nothing works out like in the advertisements, where the actor/actress applies some talcum powder, and immediately, they are covered in a shower of refreshing icy cold air, with an added smell of freshness.
All those who have access to ice cream after breakfast, lunch and dinner, without having to step out of the house to go buy it, you’re the lucky people. Enjoy.
We have to step out of the house, first (a Herculean task, no doubt), leaving the comforts of the bedroom with the AC. Then, we have to walk, in the heat, what feels like walking from New York to Los Angeles, to the closest ice cream parlor. Then, we step in the parlor, where the sweet smell of butterscotch reaches us, and our mouth starts to water. There is AC in the parlor. We relax.
We begin to hope that the shopkeeper would notice us, and hand out some free ice cream, since it’s extremely hot outside.
He just sits there expectantly, waiting for us to select our ice creams and pay him. We do so. The moment we step out o the parlor, the effect of the AC vanishes, and we have to race back home, hoping that the ice cream won’t melt on the way.
That, of course, is the very day on which the universe decides cause a huge flow of traffic, blocking pedestrians from crossing the road.
After about thirty minutes, when we’re pretty sure that we are carrying ice cream soup in a packet, the traffic clears. We walk home, exhausted. When we enter, if you ask us what took us so long, don’t mind if we start screaming our head off and insulting almost everything in the house.
It’s just in the heat of the moment.