Summer in Mumbai

I was rummaging about my old drafts, when I happened to see this entry dated 14th June 2005. I have no intention of completing this, but it’s amusing to see how I was feeling back then!

Summer in Mumbai

Mumbai’s weather sucks big time. If we were to have a “Sucky Weather” exposition in India, I suspect we’d come in second, beaten to this ignomious title only by the Madrasis. Poor folks. I’ve heard the water situation there is so bad that the only guaranteed supply of water is your own sweat. As an aside, because of this, baths in Chennai are most economical. Start by simply applying soap to your already soaked body. And wait for fresh sweat to wash away the lather. Excellent, I say!

Back to Mumbai. The air is viscous as tar. My skin glistens with a perennial sheath of sweat all over. (That’s another reason why we Mumbaikars out”shine” everyone else). Rivulets of sweat compete with each other on my back in a furious race to my waist.

How do we deal with this? Well, we don’t. You see, ceiling fans on full speed simply whir ineffectively, cutting through the thick air like butter cuts through a knife. Perhaps those with air-conditioning might be slightly better off – but then they probably feel worse whenever they step out! In places where the heat is severe but dry, say Nagpur, you can always soak sheets in water and hang them up to cool things down (and that works a lot better than air-conditioning, by the way) Would that work in Mumbai? Of course not! The air is is so humid; you could hang dry sheets up and find them soaked in water. The average Mumbaikar changes his clothes six times a day since damp, sweaty clothes are no fun to wear. This is most unfortunate since clothes take longer to dry too. The urge to discard clothing altogether and roam about stark naked is strong. Scary. I am tempted several times to take a nice cold bath, but the tragedy is that the moment you step out of the bathroom, you’re drenched in sweat – again – before you can say “fresh as a daisy”!

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