When Amrita Arora shook her hips to the song that paid tribute to “Dilli ki sardi” (translated, the Winters of Delhi), two thoughts struck my mind. One, “What a God awful song that is!” and two, “They are dragging the wrong season into limelight.” If there is anything that is dreaded about Delhi (apart from the startling increase in the crimes against women) and the tomfoolery that passes for driving skills in this city, it is the duration between May and September.
A true Delhiite would be familiar with these months. We are in mortal fear of these months. The whole year goes by dreading these months. And why not? We get burned to a shade of black that would make an African jealous and bullied by high speed winds that look like they are gleeful to have escaped from hell.
Not only are we subject to third degree torture at the hands of the sun, singed throughout the day in ways (and parts of the body) unimaginable, we are also brutalized by fellow Delhiites who are so traumatized by the onslaught, they switch sides to being the perpetrator. Who can blame them? Tempers are short, patience is low and if I wasn’t fighting the urge to beat people to a pulp, I would be … well … beating people to a pulp!
So, what do I do? I channel my murderous impulses elsewhere. The result …? This poem. As they say, desperate times call for desperate measures and Delhi summers tend to make you very, very, VERY desperate.
I (somewhat shamefully) present …
When the sun is hot
And you are not.
Mercury soars and tempers too
And nothing, just nothing, appeals to you.
The ground gets fried, black and crisp,
Words barely escape your lips.
Clothes are a burden, a pain to wear.
The brain is sluggish; no happy thoughts there.
Lips are parched, throats are dry
There is no respite, no matter how hard you try.
Your brows are furrowed, and the nostrils – they flare
Smiles disappear and are replaced with glares.
If outdoors are unpleasant, indoors is a curse.
With power cuts and load shedding, things get worse.
Makes even the most courteous cuss and swear
Turning them into snarling grizzly bears.
Nothing works to beat the heat,
You don’t want to drink or eat.
You feel listless and sick,
Cold drinks and smoothies lose their magic.
Ice cream melts before it reaches your mouth,
There’s little you can do except grumble and pout.
Oh, what you wouldn’t do to escape this grief
End this torture, find some relief.
Stick your tongue out and pant like a dog,
Wallow in slush, like a wild hog.
Drink and drink till you can drink no more,
Then stop and drink just a little more.
Climb into your fridge to try and stay cool.
Hijack a rich man’s private pool.
Take inspiration from the friendly mole
Dig yourself a deep, dark, hole.
Stay safe in there when the summer peaks
Sleep your way through the fiery weeks.
Aaah, what a pleasant dream, but hey,
Too bad that you can’t get away.
Toss away all your fancy plans,
Chin up, grin and bear it the best you can.
And as, by the day, the temperature grows,
I think to meself, “Thank God for mangoes!”