Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Feeling HOT HOT HOT!!

Being jobless and aimless (temporarily!)does bring out the innate ability in a person to observe, appreciate and enjoy the finer things in life. Like the wonderful summer that we are having here at Chennai. Having just finished my final semester exams, the pathetic sight of my "blog", has inspired me to write about something that is affecting me deeply emotionally, mentally, physically and spiritually. The Chennai summer.

In the 4 odd years that I have spent here, the Chennai branch of "Mother Nature"®, has been kind enough to give me complete access to the wide portfolio it has to offer its clients. In spite of being privy to the Incessant rains that went on for almost 24 hours at stretch, freezing decembers, the wrath of the tsunami and Mild earthquakes(Ok OK! Really mild earth quakes),I have never really been around to "appreciate" the wonderful "Peak" summers of Chennai. The reason being, I usually rush off to Muscat to meet my family, not that the weather is any better there but in Muscat, any house/school/boarding(A shelter of any sort) is almost perpetually air-conditioned and its not as sultry as Chennai(special thanks to the Indian Ocean).As I was saying, this summer is the first time I am getting to enjoy the Peak summer of Chennai and To sum it up, in the words of a famous wise man, "ITS HOT". Even though the wise man was referring to Monica Belluci, I think it is perfectly apt to use it this context.

Hot & Sultry. I cant walk 2 meters without beads of sweat forming on my forehead and other less interesting places. And then I rush back into the Air conditioned room to calm myself down and consciously try to reduce the metabolic rate of my body. My cousin, in his moment of deep spiritual awakening, told me that by slowing your breathing and remaining calm, your body tends to reduce usage of body resources and in effect, you stop sweating. In retrospect, I feel stupid. You don’t work-->you don’t sweat. I didn’t need someone to tell me that. And now that I think about it, his concept of slowing down your breathing and being calm is in many ways similar to sleeping.

Then, one fine day, Catastrophe, the air conditioner in the room with the computer, breaks down. I strongly feel it was because of my dad. He kept picking up the electricity bill glaring at the bill and then glaring at the A/C.I think he worked some of that mind over matter jazz and shut down the A/C.Anyway, There I was torn between 2 bare necessities of my life. My computer and the A/C(in the other room).I finally decided that I will brave the "Non-A/C room" and put my survival skills to the test. I mean, What kind of immature, kiddish person would prefer physical comfort to his “orkut” time?

But even managing with out an Air conditioner in the room couldn’t prepare me for what was to come, the infamous power cuts. There is no specific time that it will strike at. But its effects are most felt in the afternoons(when you want to take a nap), late evenings(Just before it starts to get slightly cool and just after the "sultryness" fully sets in)and nights (when all you want to do is switch on the A/C and go to sleep).

One minute after the power goes. My reaction is standard, I pick up the phone ,call up my local Electricity board and ask them why has the power been gone for the past 2 hours. His reaction is also standard, "They are working on it sir, there is some fault in that area, we are trying to locate the root of the problem". The next time I shift my house, I am locating myself next to some ruling party MLAs house.

Tough times like these always reminds me of inspirational sayings, One such phrase was "When the going gets tough, the tough get going", and thats exactly what I did. "Got Going". Got into the car, Switched on the air-conditioning and slowly drive in and around ashok nagar. Making frequent calls to my mom asking if the power is back.

Another option would be to take a bath, everytime the power goes. Take a bath. You can wash off the sweat as they form. That way you feel refreshed when the power finally returns, as opposed to the rest of your compadres. This method doesn’t work when the power is off for periods greater than an hour. I have stopped using this method off late because it reminded me of the acute water shortages in Chennai some 2 years back and just makes me feel guilty. To be more truthful, it makes me feel a little scared at the prospect of carrying all those buckets of water to fill up the tank. Anything, I can do to push back the day when I have to relive that part of history, will be done.

There is one more ingenious idea that I have worked out to counter these power cuts. Go for a walk. No, The summer sun has not affected my brain in anyway. Think about it! If you stay at home, You are going to sweat! You are going to feel discomfort! Might as well, go for a walk. Along with the discomfort, you will lose some of that excess fat.(Dont Lie!You have been getting fat. The very fact that you time to read up random blogs like mine means you are spending way too much time on the computer...and probably eating as you read this!) And should you find an air-conditioned Baskin robbins on the way, you can spend a couple of hours in there with their special 10 Rs. ice-creams (Please leave before the manager asks you to leave, this way you can return to the scene of the crime many number of times before they put up a picture of you below a "No Entry" sign).

These tips are just tip of the iceberg(Oh! the Paradox!).The summer is just getting started. I was told to look out for a special "Kathri" season. Supposed to make you ask some pretty serious questions about life ,god and hill stations.

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