I have always had a love-hate relationship with the month of May. All through school, you longingly wait for the long vacation where days are supposed to be longer, but in truth, fly by faster- still the heat turns you off so much, and you can literally feel the fluids being sucked out of yourself.
Out of school and college, still there is no dramatic change to the situation now. And this May is so screwed up- I am at a loss as to how I can sail through it.
For those who are not from around here- the following would give you an idea of our state.
I work with a company where travel and location shift is commonplace. So it is not unusual to see new faces swimming around the corridors every other week. So one not-so-fine April morning I walk into the ladies rest room, and run into this cute thing who I remember, was from Dehra Dun, fanning her sweaty herself vigorously.
“So HOT isn’t it?”
I gave her a sympathetic nod. I wanted to tell her that this was just the beginning, and that the sun was going to act crazier with every passing day. I shut up. She did not.
“I have become so BLACK, you know. HOW do you people survive here?!!”
I have faced this question from I-know-not-how-many people. The snide joke that I got from a friend from Pune was that Chennai has only 2 weather conditions. Either it is hot. Or very hot. Nothing else.
Maybe we have just got accustomed to it. Acclimatization’s new definition: staying sane at 45 degrees C.
The ironic truth is that all the to-do things on my bucket list-which I would have been finding ways and means to achieve, would spring out from nowhere only during the infamous ‘Summer Vacation’ time. The already-did items that I ticked off my list in the past couple of weeks were- the sea-floating adventure, with the CTC (I used to gloat about it, calling it sea-diving, but there are too many smart people around these days), visiting the Chennai museum (which is still the same- more dusty, probably) and kick starting my German class (Guten Tag!).
The yet to be initiated list includes- Kung-fu class at the YMCA (self defense is the mantra), a snake hunt expedition with the Madras Crocodile Bank Trust (yes, I get a high out of digging snakes out and brandishing them, like Steve Irwin), a bikers expedition with the CTC (no, I would just ride pillion and look pretty). And. The crowning glory of the
list- A trip. To Delhi. And from there to Amritsar.
A Punjabi friend asked me if I left my brain at the museum.
Delhi is going to be a furnace, he told me. And Amritsar is going to be worse. A week in the blazing heat is directly proportional to the intensity of the tan that I will proudly showcase on my return. Just in time for my dear cousin’s wedding. South Indian weddings, for the uninitiated, are occasions where random uncles and aunts walk up to eligible looking girls, and shoot a standard set questions.
- What is your name? (erm. Stranger?!)
- Who is your dad/mum? “Ah, you are her daughter!! You have grown so big! I remember seeing you when you were this small!” (Midget size. Did they hope I would be stuck in time?)
- So are you in college? What, you finished college? You are working?!(just when you are reveling in the unsaid compliment…)
- How much salary do you get in hand? (gasp*)
You are still in shock. By then the snoopy aunty has gone over to interrogate some other unsuspecting girl.
So, evidently the mum is very anxious for me. Because weddings such as these are breeding grounds for future marriage proposals, and given the fetish for “tall, fair, beautiful” girls in the marriage market, she is very wary about the impending tan. And though I might not give a second thought about scoring high ratings in the marriage market, who does like a tan, pray? So, I would probably give some good old sunscreen a shot.
Watch out this space for pictures- sans the tan. A Mid-summer night’s dream- no more nightmares!