Wednesday, February 27, 2013


There comes a time in February every year when the Hyderabadi's heart throbs with dread. The winter - our version of it, that is - was barely here, we have not used even half our winter clothes and already there is a mix of currents in the air. Now and then, a certain warmth meets the skin, although the mornings are cool and delightful, the west facing rooms are reminded of the presence of the sun and its awful potential.

'It is only February,' we say to one another meaningfully. There is March to come, April after that and then there is May... a parade of escalating hardship. Slowly talk veers around to summer plans. 'Shall we get a big desert cooler?' my dad asks. 'Depends on the water situation,' I tell him. He grimaces. No water, no water cooler. It is like that.

Everyone is upset that the dark filters have been stripped from their car windows - it will make a difference to how much we get out. Already courier delivery men have started to request a glass of water after they have gotten their signatures. I have made enquiries among neighbours, asking to be given coconut fronds to line the terrace with. It makes a mess and I can't stride about the terrace as I'd like but the 3-4 degree respite in temperature is worth it.

But the good thing is that few summers are actually as bad as they appear in February. Once the season begins, it comes to us a day at a time... the koels sing, jasmines bloom, mangoes get bought... there are power cuts and a blessed silence reigns everywhere.

There is something very compelling about summer in our part of the country. It is our most extreme season. Look at me, it says. And we do. The cycles of nature that we brush aside as inconveniences that get in the way of our lives... summer breaks that idea. It is awfully inconvenient but it shows us how big it is, and how ineffectual our ways of taming it.

In the last week of May, I will probably write to complain of the heat but here, now: YAY!


Anonymous said...

Ah, yes. I could feel the heat when I was in Hyd last week. Glad to have come running back to Bangalore :)

Sheetal said...

You Bangalore walas have all the luck!

Ashwini said...

Nicely written. Summer is quite something in Hyd :)

Sheetal said...

Thanks Ashwini! well, you know precisely how it is :) your part of the world still cold?