Tuesday, May 09, 2006

The heat is On!!!

It is early May 2006 and the mercury is merciless. It touched 112 degree Fahrenheit -- 44.5 degree Celsius -- on Friday. I think 118 and the psychological barrier of 120 -- 49 degree -- will be breached in the weeks ahead. Yet people continue to work. Amidst the grime and gunk. Feeble workers go about carrying brick-loads on their delicate heads in ridiculous temperatures. Their unwashed children not far away. Watching their poor parents build roads and overpasses for globalised Indians.

Life is harsh in this part of the world. Not that it doesn't get difficult -- or hot -- elsewhere. In parts of the US, it is hot -- Florida and Hawaii for instance. I think only Las Vegas and Phoenix touch 90 F in July but there is no cause to fret. Developed west has conquered nature long back. Snow or Swelter, rain or heat -- nature is stopped in its tracks. We rate miserably when it comes to giving our populace even basic amenities like power, water, heathcare and infrastructure, despite -- having a nuke -- and stupidly considering ourselves at par!

Nearer home, Gulf is very hot. The African continent is on the boil -- in perpetuity. However, the Arabs are super-rich and hardly a soul ventures out in the sun. The Africans are too well adapted -- because of their color and genetic make-up -- to the blistering sun. That leaves only the blokes in sub-continent to reel. I personally think anything above 100 F is difficult.

India gets sultry in summers. The hot winds singe you in the face. However, the humdrum never stops. Hopes never fade. People continue to work. Fight. Children go to the school. Lovers canoodle. Peasants water their fields. A million mutinies, functioning. Evolving all the time. The show must go on, as they say. There is no heat emergency-- even at 120 F. More than half the population does not have an AC comfort. No probs. Brought up the hard way, Indian's tackle the tacky temperate hands-on. Resilience, mates.

On a more individual note, I was born with an allergy for heat. Bred in the cool zephyrs of Kashmir -- India's honeymooning paradise -- I just cannot take heat. These days I have to make do with the artificial machine chill. Home, Car, Office. I am not in my element, the moment, I step out of it.

Sometimes in the middle of the night -- when there is a power-cut -- I close my eyes and think about Kashmir. Cool, quiet nights with seductive layers of darkness all around. Breeze in the hair. Only the sweet cooing of a small nightingale in the distance.

I keep thinking and thinking about it. Till light comes in the capital city of the fastest growing economy in the world!

Sameer

9 comments:

Jotika, New Delhi said...

My home in GK-II had no light fr 3 hours. Call it our govt but yeah, we carry on.
Thanks

hans said...

An amazing blog and a beautiful description.

akriti said...

I think India must provide for basic necessities for her people before we start breaking bread with the likes of US and Europe.

Akriti

Tilly_girlie, Bloomsfield, New Jersey, USA said...

That is what I call variety. I never knew you could write equally proficiently on heat in India as you write about beauty in us.

Kudos

Nikihil said...

I didn't know you were born in Kashmir. I am not regular to your blog but whenever I get time to read, I surf your site.

I've been to Kashmir with my cousin in 1999. I think you are right, I could feel the breeze in my hair. The place rocks. I am based in Cal. It sucks, man.

Nikhil

Kumar Abinav said...

Regarding your point: The child on roadside, watching his father work. What do we do for them???
Merely writing stylish doesn't help.

Abhishek said...

Hi Samy,
Its really hot today.
Its Ok as we well known its Summer not a winter and naturally these days will be HOT.
But, main problem with electricity thats playing hide n seek with us.

As I belongs to UP(West), the situation is more worst in UP. We are getting only 8 - 10 hours in day.
Its a real life.. men
Lets hope for the best..
But, its india where all problem is become adjustable.
So, Enjoy your day..
And sing the Song "Just Chill Out.. Chill Out.. Just Chill Out..

Byebye
lov,
Abhi..

mehak said...

That can easily pass as satire. You have this wonderful satirical eye. Contrasting heat with development. Tying the dirty kid's destiny to our newly found affluence isn't very easy. That is where you score.
Brilliant.

Samir Bhat said...

Mr. Abinav,

At least I write. I observe and jot. It is for the governments to solve these issues. Things like illiteracy and ignorance lead to population boom and the end results spill on the pedestals.
In India, mere existence is an issue. The government must come clean with a policy to tackle poverty.

On my end, I am at loss to see the misery around. At least, I can write and stir a few humans.

Thanks
Sameer