A few days ago, the temperature was a sweltering 36°c with 79% humidity. In the Feels Like column on timeanddate.com, it showed 48°c. My mother was convinced it was over 50. My father recounted the good old days when summer used to be mellow and full of rains. They’d go to the field, wading through the knee deep water and watch buffaloes swim in the distant river.
There was a time they used to call this place Mini Darjeeling, but these days you can smelt ores by simply leaving them out in the sun. A few people in the neighbourhood have already been admitted to the Hope because of sunstroke, or some weird photochemical reactions due to the scorching heat.
The air was stifling hot. As I lay on the coarse, trampled turf of Indira Gandhi Stadium, streams of molten lava flowed under my skin, scalding my insides like chucks of meat in a boiling pan. I remembered all those real life stories of spontaneous human combustion, and pictured myself lighting up and turning to ashes. People would more likely record my groans and convulsions and upload them on youtube than pour water or sand over my body. My shirt was sodden with sweat. The stadium felt like devil’s frying pan, where we the evil souls were being burnt and purged. The devil laughed its heinous laugh as we melted like butter cubes.
“This must be the new record. “Commented the IIT guy. He’s the only student from our batch to make it to the mecca of the great Indian Education system, so his comments are respected. We nodded in a unison.
Then we started comparing summer in different cities to while away time, which budged painfully slow.
“Is it hotter than Delhi? “Goteya asked.
“The heat there is different. I mean it’s not that suffocating. “Started Samar.
Well, I remember Delhi’s heat. Apartment blocks all clumped together. There’s no duct for air to pass. Every time there’s a power cut, terrace is the only rescue. I’d wake up in the middle of the night, all sweaty and hot, cursing my fate and rich people who live in hill stations during summer. Capitalism, people, capitalism!
“You must find it normal, right? “I asked the IIT guy, who lived in IIT Jodhpur. He took out his phone and whatsapped this cute girl – half girlfriend – to send him a random balcony shot. It was raining in Rajasthan. Goddam.
We talked about school and memories. I’ll tell you about that very soon.
After it was dark, we trudged back to our houses, hoping for some mercy from the skies.
“It’ll rain tomorrow. “Said the IIT guy. We nodded in unison.
(Well, it did not. )
Back at home, there was no food because my mother felt it was too hot and she hated the idea of standing in front of a goddam stove. So we ate mangoes and slept, praying the power remains forever.