No, I am not excited about the latest flick of John Abraham, Katrina Kaif and Neil Nitin Mukesh....Neither I am talking about Ranbir Kapoor or Bipasha Basu, or Kareena or Deepika, or even Akshay Kumar....no not the new show of Rakhi Sawant on the telly either....All the credits of today's post goes to the "Summer of 2009: Delhi"!!!! I am sure you can appreciate my desperation!!!!
This has been one of one the worst weekends ever from weather perspective......the heat has been truly really unbearable. Maximum temperatures hovering around 43-44 degree Celsius, with 60% humidity, compounded by the fact that live at the top floor!!! The main weapons against the onslaught on summer in extreme climes as these are mainly 3 - fan, cooler and AC, in increasing order of effectiveness and power consumption. And most important is the fact that all 3 are rendered as mere stationary furniture once their lifeblood - electricity is missing !!! We are among the highly privileged residents here, to be living in a "housing society" with 100% power backup, which means the lifeblood is, theoretically never missing. So, what is the big deal then, summer at home on weekends should be a cakewalk, isn't it. Well no, hope it was all that simple.
Since I have fairly enlightened all with the background, now it is time to for the intricacies of the situation. Coolers survive on a diet of liters of water, and are fairly effective for cooling when humidity levels are very low- around 25-30% which is typical of summer in these parts of the country. Fans are almost of no use in mitigating any discomfort - though these are the lowest cost option. And ACs are the only ones which can provide complete comfort, but they are high maintenance. However, at the times of power supply cuts, the supply switches to the generators, and every household is entitled to a limited wattage of usage which unfortunately cannot cover AC :-(
For last 2-3 days, the temperatures and humidity both have been very high coupled with power cuts lasting 8-10 hours per day .....ooooooooooffffffffffffff!!!!
Today, somehow power God has been kind so far (fingers strictly crossed!!!), or may be the power companies have taken the warnings of Chief Minister seriously and have done some clean-up today!!!!
While I was trying my best to manoeuvre around the difficult climatic situation, multiple questions were criss crossing my mind, at its analytical best, again ;-). Both are completely diverse issues, and you may find linking them little weird but somehow both are linked to today's tagline "Hot, Hot, Hot"!!!
The first one, is a direct derivative from the word itself. It is the first time it struck me, why glamour is associated with this word. Why the people with well sculpted bodies, well groomed face/hair/hand/legs/everything else, with great fashion sense and especially belonging to the make-believe "dream" world of movies and fashion are termed as "hot". I fail to find a nearest co-relation. Is it because everyone else feels extremely uncomfortable when they are around these people??....naaah....dosen't sound convincing enough. Rather, I think, this term was coined somewhere in cool chimes of Europe or US, where "hot" is synonymous with summer, which is the most pleasant and looked forward part of the year. I would earnestly invite the people in media who use this term so routinely, to come and spend a day here without the comfort of AC, and decide whether they would really like to use this term anymore for describing the objects of adulation and desire :-) Or rather, I would urge the celebrities themselves who pride themselves on being conferred with the tittle of "Hot", to spend a "Hot" day here and then decide for themselves if they want to embrace or denounce their "title" !!! I feel "cool" is a much better option :-)
That was on the lighter side. On the more serious note, an innocent statement from a colleague triggered off this train of thought. His statement was interesting though - He observed that we generally tend to blame government for all ills around us - but for the heat we cannot. And the least govt can do to support the citizens is to reduce prices of ACs. Is it really enough.....How many of us are fortunate enough to own an AC. This brings to fore the bigger social issues - what does the government do at all for the basic requirements - power/ water / roads/ basic housing / health /education ? As per reports (today's Times of India), Indiam government is among the lowest spenders worldwide on social support of its citizens, though I am sure we are not the lowest tax payers!!! As I live in our occasionally Air conditioned (based on power supply status) home, work in a always Air conditioned office and travel to-and-from office in Air conditioned office cab (where again we complain if the cooling is not up to the mark), I come across the people from other rungs of society, for whom "hot" means so much more of discomfort....The security staff of our society who have to sit outdoor in all seasons, the maid who works in the house - lives in a dingy one-room apartment with her 7-8 member family-where water/ power/fan is a luxury, the handicapped pan-masala/cigarette/ toffee seller who sets up his shop with his little son in tow every morning while I wait for my AC cab, the bhutta sellers who set up shop on the pavements in the scorching heat every evening......
Only rains can provide an immediate relief to all........but for a long-term relief, a better life for all, better protection from this "Hot" weather, much more needs to be done, by all of us here....