Thursday, May 3, 2007

HECH - EE - YA - T (The Heat of Chennai)

Man it is HOT in Chennai. Although I have been known (in my younger days) to use the same term to describe girls, here I am specifically talking about what is measurable in Centigrade and Fahrenheit. You have to be here to believe it.

The day typically gets warm by about 7 in the a.m. So if you are thinking about those early morning walks, it better be really early. The water in the overhead tank is already getting heated so you have to take a shower ASAP. Once in the afternoon I thought I would go in for a cooling shower but yikes I was almost scalded. Now I fill a bucket of water and let it cool down before plunging in. Once you are all set for office, you transform into a ‘really short’ distance sprinting champ. From the car into the office-into the car-into the client’s office-into the car and so on… All these places have air-conditioning, which is a blessed relief except for one place – home. I am not one of the super-rich who have central air-conditioning or an A/C in every room. Only my bedroom has an A/C while the remaining rooms slowly turn into a cauldron during the day. This curtails my movements because I just don’t want to step out of there. Recently, a friend of mine came home and he too wouldn’t step out. I had to play a good host to his whims and fancies and go fetch him water from the fridge and do other ‘host-ly’ things while slowly melting.

Chennaites seems to have adjusted well though and seem to be waiting for the next couple of months to pass. Everybody moves around in a peaceful stupor when they are in the heat, once in a while cursing in a languid manner – “Machan its too hot da”. Bikers tend to find a shady tree to park while being forced to wait at the signal probably envying car drivers locked in their chilled cocoons. Colas, ice creams, caps, A/C units, glares are in major demand (unfortunately tank tops and short skirts are not part of the list). Only the kids are out enjoying their summer holidays, playing cricket or scampering around.

There are some plus points that need to be appreciated. Clothes dry in a jiffy so you can actually run two loads in the machine. You save on electricity bills by getting hot water without a geyser (let’s just ignore the A/C humming in the background). It makes you appreciate the finer things in life (like a cold beer). You understand that Nelly was not being lewd when he sang “It’s getting hot in here so take off all your clothes….”. You can also see some really funny sights of people wearing cool caps and funny sunglasses.

After reading this I am sure you are in two minds whether to come here or not. Do come and visit cause with a ‘coooool’guy like me, you know it is still a great place. We can always take Nelly’s advice….