Summer from Hell

The past one week has been the hottest I have had the misfortune to experience. I tried mentally preparing myself for it even before arriving in the city, but nothing can prepare one for this hell. It’s an intense, unrelenting heat that kills your appetite, your enthusiasm, and eventually your will to live. Just standing outdoors is enough to drain all of one’s energy, because there is nothing but hot air that stings and bites and makes you feel like your skin will be set on fire. It’s like being trapped in a giant oven, and there is no way of escape.

And everything is just so relentlessly hot. If I forget to fill up the bucket the previous night, I might as well give up on a shower because the water will sear my skin. And even the shampoo and the face wash and fucking everything gets hot. Despite having the air-conditioner on all day long, the mattress seems to send off hot air, and the blankets feel uncomfortably warm.

Of course, my appetite is just about dead. I survive on an unhealthy liquid diet comprising of juices, cold coffees, and milk shakes. An occasional sandwich – or other varieties of non-hot food as and when they present themselves – are the rare solid food I care to consume. And ice-creams, of course! I’ll go so far as to say that my daily ice-cream is the only thing that is sustaining me through this heat.

The worst of it was the constant cold-hot-cold conundrum. The air-conditioner in the office is conked up to replicate arctic conditions. And then when I step out of the office, it’s like being in the middle of the desert. And then I go home and turn on the air-con again. And my poor body is simply unable to figure out how to adjust to the constantly changing temperature conditions. So I end up with intense headaches, fatigue, fever, hot and cold flashes. And I dream of mild and pleasant summers in a far away land.

Just when I thought I had reached the end of my tether, it rained yesterday. Even as I was typing out this post, I could see clouds gathering, but did not dare hope. By early afternoon, the rain had started in right earnest, and continued intermittently through the rest of the day, brining much needed relief to the parched and suffering city.

I was delighted that I didn’t have to go back after work and hole up in my room for the rest of the evening. I could actually step outside my four walls and enjoy the fresh air. Ah joy! My friend AG was in town for the day so we went out to Hauz Khas Village and sat outdoors to savour the lovely breeze, and had a great evening.

It’s warm again today, but it’s a bearable heat, and after the last week, I am going to count every single blessing the weather gods send my way. I know this is just a little breather before we are pitched into the summer from hell once again. But this was the break I desperately needed, and am truly grateful for it.

I’m going to leave you with this view from my window in the morning today. The tree has pretty much shed all its leaves but it’s still a nice view to wake up to, especially on a pleasant morning like this.



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