“ The Indian weather molds North Indian (specifically Hindu) behaviour”
The above is attributed to Nirad C Chaudhari. I am not so learned nor have the art of writing like the late Niradbabu , but could not help writing this irreverent blog. We had Holi last weekend and a lot of rains. Suddenly light jackets were out in evening. I even saw my Bengali neighbor with a half monkey cap on a couple of mornings last week .Overnight it’s getting hot in north India and soon it’s going to get much, much hotter. Just a month back, we were sitting shivering indoors, bundled up in sweaters. Slowly it warmed, then the brief spell of rain over last week and today it is hot. Shorts and sleeveless will be out and saloons will jack up rates of waxing.
Very soon, before you can say ‘heatstroke’, the mercury will be rising and the ceiling fans are in full swing. We will soon become a fan of the AC. And everyone will be moaning and groaning about how hot the days already are and how much hotter they’re going to get, and how they just can’t stand the heat, and how winters are so much better when it’s nice and cool.
These are the same people in North India, including myself, who till a few days ago were cribbing about how cold and horrid it was, and all you felt like doing was staying huddled in bed under a nice warm quilt, and couldn’t wait for it to get warmer. Winter also is the perfect time for younger couples to copulate, specially when you want babies to go a class higher than their age and try to beat the cut off of 30th Sept. We experience a lot of family based outings during this time and binding gets stronger inspite of the little imperfections. The climate serves as a plaster.
And as summer advances and it gets hotter and hotter, and then hotter still, so that you sit under your whirring fan, glass of cold nimbu-paani by your side, dripping sweat and wondering if it mightn’t be cooler if you were to switch on the gas burner and shove yourself into it, you ask yourself when , oh when, will the blessed monsoon come and the rain cool things down a bit, or will El Nino — whoever the heck he is — play spoilsport and leave us gasping and panting in this dreadful heat. Don’t go out after lunch, it is blowing loo outside. It is the season of extra-marital affairs. Time to have a fling – it does not matter who comes in your way. Just do it as by now you have conquered squeamishness and developed indifference to the filth which summer creates.
And finally the monsoon will come, always delayed, and the rain will come pouring down, and streets will get flooded as they do every year, and there’ll be endless traffic jams, and no one will be able to get to work, or to school, or to anywhere on time, and everyone will say when , oh when, will this awful rain stop, which is ruining crops all over the country. You will miss dates and get frustrated. Time for break ups.
What would we do if we didn’t have weather to talk about? How hot it is, how cold it is, how wet it is, how dry it is, and so on and on and on? If it weren’t for the weather, we’d literally be at a loss for words to say to each other and start the relationship.
In an age of increasingly sharp political, social and cultural differences, the weather remains just about the only safe subject to talk about without getting into a heated argument — or worse — with someone or the other who takes a point of view diametrically opposed to yours and get punched.
No one’s going to punch you in the face for saying how hot it is when it’s hot. Or how cold it is when it’s cold. Or how rainy, when it’s raining !