I Got The Summertime, Summertime Madness

I love the romantic image of summer that’s been perpetuated through the ages by white people who will never know what it’s like to be a human popsicle in India. You see it all the time in the form of stock photos of bikini babes and dudes on sailboats, sipping rainbow-coloured drinks and grinning because they’re obviously in the south of France, where visas are denied to sweaty people.

I’d love to see the more realistic image, where the sailboat dude is trying to get an auto on Linking Road while a torrent of back-sweat pretends to be Magellan and goes exploring in places that are otherwise explored on incognito mode. I’d like to see him shake hands with people all day, this harmless social greeting now transformed into a Woodstock for germs, which you counter with routine hygiene measures like cutting off your hand.

Don’t mind me. I’m just cranky because I stepped out for ten minutes and now I feel like something the cat dragged in out of a coal mine. Thankfully, I have science to back up and quantify my whining. Humidity levels reached 81% in South Mumbai this week, a phenomenon scientists refer to as ‘Just Stay Home And French-Kiss Your AC’.

This is how I know I’ll never be a great person. On the one hand, you had people like Nelson Mandela, who stayed unbroken after 27 years in prison. And then there’s me. I wouldn’t even need to be tortured or anything. If you want to get state secrets out of me, just put me in a room with a fan that the bai forgets to turn on after jhaadu. In three seconds, I’d confess to everything from killing Kennedy to being that guy who let the dogs out.

Another thing better people do is realise that they’re so much more privileged than most people out there. It seems a bit stupid to tweet updates like ‘UGHH SO SWEATY I COULD IRRIGATE HALF OF INDIA WITH MY ARMPITS’ and then look out of your AC cab to see a handcart puller lugging a load the size of a house without cribbing because he doesn’t have a Twitter account the luxury of doing so.

The only bright side of summer is the arrival of mangoes, a fruit known worldwide for its ability to drive Indians nuts. But I have to mess it up by being possibly the only Indian person who couldn’t care less about Katrina’s make-out partner. It makes things awkward in social situations. There’s always that moment where someone lovingly serves you a mango dish for dessert, and you tell them that you would rather eat your toes. As a result, I’m less welcome at dinners than the one friend who gets drunk and starts saying things like, “I’m not a bigot, but the problem with *those* people na…”

I guess the only good thing about summer is that you see way more women in summer dresses, which is really the hottest, most bad-poetry-inducing thing women can do. There’s just something about that look that makes you ignore the glossy finish that all Mumbaikars come in. As men, we have nothing even remotely classy going on. Our greatest fashion achievement is successfully resisting the urge to take off our pants in public.

There’s about six weeks of this nonsense left, so it would be best to remember the wise words of Plato who said, “Screw this, I’m going to the hills.” Unfortunately for Bombay people that means Lonavala, the hill station brought to you by Maganlal Chikki, starring Maganlal Chikki and introducing Baby Maganlal Chikki. What I’m saying is, just take a break and go to a nicer place, like a coal mine.

(Note: This is my HT column dated 10th May 2015.)

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16 responses to “I Got The Summertime, Summertime Madness

  1. Summertime gladness.

  2. So happy to have found someone who doesn’t worship mangoes.
    As always, a funny read. Love your writing style.

  3. hystericalselcouth

    This, this is pure gold. You know, like the ripe-from-the-village-Ratnagiri-mango gold? Yah.

  4. Hahaha! Giggled through the whole thing – but empathized too!

  5. Excellent writing ad usual. ‘katrina’s make out partner’ ..new one.

  6. Bangalore is just as bad this time of year with the rains doing a poonam pandey on us every other day.

    • Oh .. you don’t know I happened to be in Mumbai at the time it was written and I was sweating in an AC bus for the first one hour on my way to Bangalore .. humidity is really bad in Mumbai..

  7. That time when you have a blanket on you and the curtains are shut and you’re just sleeping all your problems away and then the bai comes in, opens the curtains with a loud noise, turns off the fan and leaves….
    #WhatFreshHell

  8. Hilariously written, as always. Though I must say your analysis of Indian summers will remain incomplete until you pay us Delhites a visit and experience first-hand what it feels like to be a human popcorn.

  9. This is hilarious…!!!

  10. Kudos on how you manage to keep the articles so fresh and witty!!!
    Always brings a smile to the face:D

  11. Finally…someone who doesn’t go crackers at the sight (and smell) of mangoes.

  12. Hilllarious! If something can make me lol with all this humidity – you’ve got talent man! I know you know that but just saying…;-) Also – thanks – for putting in the best words Frooti’s Katrina ad.

  13. hot yoga,
    bikram.

    we went to other countries,
    but the bodies are too cold,
    master-
    “let them heat the room.”

    obviously this stuff was invented by a people lviing in hot, humid areas. heat plus water equals hella stretch.

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