The Unofficial Guide To Slapping Summer In The Face

It’s that time of the year when you’re bombarded with headlines like “23 Ways To Beat The Heat!”, “Sweat: It’s Like Drool, But From Your Armpits!”, and “It’s Totally Okay To Sell Your Kids For a Box Of Mangoes!” In keeping with that theme, I present the only real solution to summer, i.e. leave. Head to the hills and come back only after the dawn of nuclear winter.

I did that two weeks ago, and it was great because now I get to be one of those annoying people who won’t shut up about their vacation. If you’re planning a trip to the hills, you might want to consider Shimla, Nainital and Manali, which offer great views of parents trying to keep kids from rushing into ravines, along with honeymooning brides showing off their forearm bangle armour kit.

(I always imagine them using the bangle armour to fend off sword attacks like Amitabh Bachchan in Shahenshah, with each blow sending up a shower of sparks. Yes, I’m single. What gave it away?)

Most young people go off in different directions though, which is what I did, and landed up in Kasol in Himachal Pradesh. The closest airport used to be an hour away, at a place called Bhuntar, as in, “Wow, she’s got amazing bhuntars!” But since Kingfisher was the only airline flying to Bhuntar, operations had to be suspended once the company shut shop last year, after having spent all its money on Sid Mallya’s hair gel.

So now, the closest airport is at Chandigarh, an eight hour drive from Kasol. Of course, I use the term ‘drive’ loosely, because the HP government’s brief to the construction companies was, “Our roads should cause backbones to disintegrate into a fine powder, which we can then smoke.” The roads are flanked by a lush green drop to the death on one side, while the other is reserved for truckers hurtling down the wrong way, probably in a rush to get back home to their sweethearts at the nearest roadside brothel.

But that’s a small price to pay for waking up to one of nature’s best photoshop jobs. Lazy rivers gurgle along, emboldened by the absence of people crapping into them, and snow-capped mountains rise up against the summer in what geologists describe as a “middle-finger formation”.

It’s interesting to watch city people turn into a raving, wide-eyed gaggle once they hit villages. The smallest things set us off. For example, it’s impossible for us to have a meal without making low moaning noises about the extremely mind-bending amazeballs freshness of local vegetables. And that’s because the bar has been set pretty low. I mean all a tomato has to do to make us weep with joy is to not look it just went four rounds with Mike Tyson. You could feed us goat fodder in the hills, and it’d still be tastier than the local greens fermenting in a patch of sewage water in the nether regions of Kurla station.

Kasol offers one of those rare, Parliament-like vacations where you can just sit back and do nothing. At most, you can check out some of the nearby villages, like Malana, which is famous for producing the world’s finest whatever it is that RGV has been smoking for the past decade. An hour-long drive takes you up to almost 10,000 feet, to within two kilometres of the village, after which an uphill hike reminds you that you have the lung capacity of an asthmatic corpse.

Malanis claim to be descendants of Alexander’s soldiers, and hence consider themselves racially superior to all outsiders. Yeah, that makes perfect sense. You’re better than everyone because once upon a time, some soldiers got bored of spooning each other. Also, if an army reaches Malana, it’s not really going to go very far ahead:

Commander: Men! We must march on, and conquer every land that lies ahead. Onwards, to glory!  *puff* Or dude, let’s just like, chill and like, play some Floyd maaaan *puffpuffpuff* Hey, is that my concubine or yours?

(Fun fact: Malana rules prohibit villagers from touching outsiders, which, on the snob scale, ranks somewhere between ’18th century pundit’ and ‘Colaba lady trying to pronounce Kandivli’.)

On the flipside, when your vacation ends, you’ll spend the next few weeks like a junkie in raging withdrawal, shuffling about, taking furtive hits off every AC unit you can find. Your friends might even need to stage an intervention. Ask them to bring fresh tomatoes.

(Note: This is my HT column dated 12th May 2013. Cross-posted from here.)

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13 responses to “The Unofficial Guide To Slapping Summer In The Face

  1. Brilliant as usual 🙂

  2. loaded with wit as usual.

  3. Witty. Been my first visit to your blog. Satisfying!

  4. LOL @ geologists describe as a “middle-finger formation”. :))))

  5. Dude, you and only you could take a normal, nature-endowed, ordinary summer getaway to the hills and have us in splits about it! 😀

  6. HAHA! Epic stuff!

  7. Subham Bhowmick

    Never read a funnier swipe taken at d condition of Indian roads….Very witty and humorous.. 🙂

  8. This blog is the only thing one needs to slap any season in the butt. Great read.

  9. ”Malana rules prohibit villagers from touching outsiders, which, on the snob scale, ranks somewhere between ’18th century pundit’ and ‘Colaba lady trying to pronounce Kandivli’’…a masterpiece indeed!

  10. really? Malana folks can’t *touch* outsiders?
    That’s ridiculous!
    Did you try forcing handshakes on them anyway? I totally would have!
    And ohhh! That must also mean it’s safe for females to travel, cos they can’t be raped na? What am I saying! I’m sure there’s some loop-hole where if the girl is deliberately provoking the man by standing in front of him, he is allowed to teach her a lesson by molesting her.

  11. really funny good stuff total stress buster … btw everyone in colaba can pronounce Kandivli !

  12. liked your similies thus..
    along with honeymooning brides showing off their forearm bangle armour kit.etc.. & operations had to be suspended once the company shut shop last year, after having spent all its money on Sid Mallya’s hair gel.

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