Climate

Weather talk

2:46 PM

Once upon a time, when I was a teenager still learning English in high school (yes English is indeed not my native language), my course book said something about how British love to talk about the weather, whether it is a stereotype or not, is left to debate and I won’t go there.

What is however interesting is that it seems talking about the weather in India is the number 2 topic among Aunties (the first one being juicy neighbourhood gossip and probably talking about what goes into the shopping cart of a gori lady).
Of course this is also a favourite with shop keepers who upon asking you where you are from will say something like “Ah! And how do you like India?” and then proceed to say “How are you handling the climate here? India is terrible”

And while talking about the weather is a popular auntie/shopkeeper pastime, keep in mind that there are a few rules should you do so:

1) You need to crib about the weather, no matter how nice it is, where you live must always have a bad weather, unless you are comparing it to Delhi (Yes, Delhi is horrible yaar, all year round they have the most horrid weather).

2) The weather is lovely but always where you don’t live: “I hate the humidity in Mumbai, Bangalore is so much nicer all year round”. Although it goes without saying that if you live in Bangalore the weather is rotten because you live there, but still so much more pleasant than Delhi…or Mumbai (getting the hang of it?)

3) If you really MUST say something positive about the weather it must be tainted by at least one flaw: “The winter we have this year is so nice and cool, but it’s too dry, my skin is killing me” or “It’s nice to have cooler days, but everybody is sick with a cold/flu, it’s horrible”

4) The present time weather always has to be worse than the same weather at the same time a year ago: “Oh my I don’t thing we ever had such a rotten monsoon ever, it was so much better last year”.

5) You have to find a way to blame whatever sneeze, sniffle, foot wart, or eczema you are suffering from to the weather, because you can’t talk about your health without talking about the weather that inevitably regardless of the season and regardless of how pleasant it is has to bring the plague: “ugh I came down with a cold, this is because it suddenly became so cold last night”

6) If you go away on a weekend you have to mention how so much better the weather was there compared as to what it is here, regardless of whether it is true or not. So yes that means that even if you just went to Elephanta island for a day and the climate was hot and humid as it is in Mumbai you have to brag about how so much nicer it was over there (are you still following?)

7) You must read weather related news and share your meteorological wisdom with the group keeping in mind all the above rule: “Yes the weather is horribly cold, but that’s El Nina’s fault, this was mentioned in the paper”

Indeed, talking about the weather in India is a safe topic, a topic all will want to discuss to some extent, one that surely won’t get you in trouble in a neighbourhood’s gossip match, and as long as you remember the rules stated above (which are all variation on the “Cribfest” theme) you are safe.

Meanwhile from the safety of my little blog I will confess that I love Winter in Mumbai, that it is the only season that doesn’t make me miss Bangalore, and that I’m not looking forward to the days it will become hotter, which according to that TOI article I just shared above should not come until March thanks to El Nina. Of course to be a good sport I blame my dry skin and monstrous cold to the weather…

4 comments

  1. I live in Bangalore. I came across your blog while browsing your ultimate baby gear list ( I am due in September 2012 and you have an awesome list that will be very helpful for me, thank you..) Btw - South Indians like me believe that we need to complain exclusively in life ( reg. any topic not necessarily the weather), just so that we do not ruin our good luck by stating that everything about our lives is beautiful. For instance, we would rather answer we are doing fine/okay coupled with some statement of what is not good about our lives rather than we are doing wonderful lest our good luck wanes off. Welcome to the Indian mindset. Do observe, most people do not respond to how they are doing positively!

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  2. hi Navya, congratulations on your pregnancy! And I'm happy to hear my baby gear list is helpful to you. I also HIGLY recommend you check Firstcry.com for all things related to childcare, I wish that one existed when I was pregnant and a new mom, it would have made things easier for me :)

    I guess it makes sense on not wanting to jinx you luck with too many good comments about any given situation :)

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  3. Thank you so much, I checked Firstcry.com , I must say that the deals on baby products are definitely more extensive as this site is a dedicated baby store unlike ebay and other online shopping websites that I was looking into. It always helps to be prepared as much as we can before the baby finally arrives :) And it is definitely a plus that online shopping has finally taken off in a big way in India now..

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  4. Oh Yeah! It was about time online shopping got reliable in India, I just love it.
    Don't get me wrong I still love going to malls and stores, but online shopping makes it really convenient to buy specific items. Or buy gifts during the festive season, much simpler and faster than roaming from shop to shop wondering what to get for who :)

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