Climate

Feeling like a Dimsum

10:58 AM

That’s it I reached that point at which I am so completely done with the heat, and this year the feeling came earlier than the previous one. The heat and humidity of the past week has gone to my head and I feel like I am a dumpling cooking away in a steamer the whole day long.
I miss my hour long walk after dropping Ishita in school, but just walking down the hill to her school is enough to sap me of all energy, by the time I walked back up to the level of the park where I walk I am soaked wet just wanting to walk the 300 meters back to my home instead of hacking a few kilometres on the jogging track, at 10 am no less.
The scary bit is that it’s not even May just yet, and it already feel hotter than hot in a very debilitating way, the monsoon is still a little over month away (if it comes on time that is) and I find myself in that state where my mind simply can’t wrap itself around the fact that in January I was happy and almost shivering in my sweat pants sipping cups after cups of tea in utmost bliss and never wanting to get out of that state. The memories of these days usually fade as fast as it takes for a puddle of water to evaporate in the hot sun, and I even find myself wondering if I just didn’t make it up. I never had that feeling in Switzerland, even though we have cases of “extreme” with cold icy days and snow in the winter and temps going in the –5 range in Geneva, and hotter days in the Summer where yes the mercury can go past the 30’s (Celsius that is), but contrary to here the hot days are few, and not so unbearable due to a far more moderate level of humidity in the air. Dry heat is far easier to deal with than humid heat.
On a long taxing Winter back home we would end up wondering if Spring would come at all, and once it was there knew we had several months of decent to pleasant temperatures and simply hoped for enough sunny or rain-less days but I never really dealt with the feeling I might have as well hallucinated the brief warm Summer days the way I feel I hallucinate the short pleasant Winters here in Mumbai.
And Bangalore had me used to some pleasant constants as well, we knew the month of March, April and May were hot, but not critically unbearable without an AC, and we still had he “Mango showers” that series of Summer storms that will periodically bring some relief and reassure you that yes rain and coolness still actually exist, and once the monsoon would hit in June, the days would remain steadily temperate until fall at which point we would see the return of colder days yet pleasant days. Mumbai has somehow the knack of making you feel like anything that is not blistering hot and humid weather wise is actually a fluke if I can manage to explain that feeling at all. By the second half of May you usually have everybody looking up to the sky anxiously for sign that deliverance is on it’s way and that yes we will get to see what a dark cloud and a drop of rain looks like again. because contrary to Bangalore where Summer storms occur all Summer long, Mumbai is pretty much bone dry until the monsoon hits, on rare occasion a storm might hit, but I am yet to see it happening, and people that have been living there longer all say that it’s pretty much a rarity for it to occur.
The monsoon in Bangalore cools things down permanently for the rest of the year, in Mumbai it plays a cruel joke on us the minutes it recess back to the sea, instead of keeping us cool until the next Summer, it ends up steaming us some more in October and November leaving us numb once more. Then and only then do we earn about 8-10 weeks of winter with only a few days in it being almost cold before the cycle repeats again.
Year after year I puzzle my family back home when I rave about things like rain, or shivering inside a shawl or squealing in delight at the idea of dumping my shorts deep at the back of the wardrobe practically shouting “Good riddance” doing so in the same way they do it finally telling their parkas, gloves and mufflers to just go get lost in the black hole of their own wardrobes not wanting to see the sight of said outfits ever again. And I still find myself smiling at that irony. How I went from being a sweat pants and shawl hater practically wanting to burn them just to conjure Spring into happening when I was living in Switzerland to now welcoming them with open arm and mourning their loss just a few weeks after having taken them out of the back of the shelves. While I now wish just shredding flip flops, shorts and light weight kurti would just be enough to invoke the spirit of the cold season into manifesting itself again. A feeling I might yet again add never stroke me while leaving in Bangalore but is on full blast here in Mumbai.
Until then I am living on salads, grilled things, fresh fruits and ice creams, and the idea that cooking should not be something that take more than 30 minutes of my whole day.
Leaving you on that note for now, as I have exactly 45 minutes left of my “me time break” to brace myself to go out again in the heat to go pick up my daughter in school and bring her back home, where an “aloo methi salad” will be waiting for us.

7 comments

  1. Navya3:13 PM

    I used to live in Chennai during my schooling days. Dad had a job there. We could not afford air conditioning.. I have hallucinated just like you. Believe it or not : my mom and I would wipe the floor and then I would literally wet the neck and arm - parts of the nightgown and stand underneath the fan... No points for guessing that everything would get dried up in the Chennai Humid summer heat even before I could fall asleep!! I feel your pain.

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  2. nutschell11:20 PM

    I can just imagine the heat in that region of the world. I lived in the Philippines almost my whole life and summers there are pretty stifling!

    Nutschell

    www.thewritingnut.com

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  3. I lived in Chennai for 7 month, I so remember it, we had no AC back then either, and I remember it as even worse than Mumbai. In my memory it started with me taking a cold shower in the morning blissfuly enjoying the relief and finding myself soaked wet in sweat 10 minutes later once I finished putting my clothes back on.
    When we relocated from Chennai to Bangalore in January 2005 I remember boarding the night train in Chennai feeling hot and sticky, and stepping out of it in Bangalore in the early hours of the morning feeling freezing cold and shivering all the way to our new place in the Auto ride.

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  4. Never been to the Philippines but it being in the tropical area I can only imagine that the heat there is must be pretty similar to the one I experienced in Chennai and am now experiencing in Mumbai

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  5. Beatrix9:22 AM

    I miss the balmy California weather sooooo bad.
    Spring, Summer & Fall are so beautiful there, whenever it would get too hot a cool breeze of the Pacific ocean would cool things down. Outdoor concerts, festivals, and wine tasting etc. Being able to go out & putter in the garden for hours.
    Mild, cool, lightly rainy winters too.

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  6. navya1:16 PM

    having made countless trips from chn - blr : I totally get ur point of feeling sticky in chn and feeling cold in blr :) Been there, done that so many times.


    I m just glad my Chn encounter is over for the moment and I am stuck in cool Blr !!!

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  7. Right now I miss rain big time :) Just the idea of seeing dark clouds in the sky is exilerating and we are still a solid month away from the Monsoon.
    I checked the weather app on my phone with a friend yesterday, apparently there was 60% chance of rain on May 15 according to it. Of course anything can change in between but for now I am going to hold to that hope of temporary relief

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