550 Days Of Summer

The sinking feeling starts towards the end of February; just when the season ending sales start. Don’t get me wrong. I love sales and love stocking up on stuff I won’t need for another eight months. The chill in the air starts waning, the sweaters come off and you discover you have acquired an extra tyre (damn those sinful pralines). The final nail in the coffin is Holi. Spring makes a blink- and- you- -will- miss appearance and sooner than you can let out an anguished aah, you are face to face with the longest, harshest season of the year, summers.

Whoever sang “Those were the lazy, hazy, crazy days of summers” was not an Indian and definitely not a Delhite (actually it was Nat King Cole). The season makes you lazy and robs you of a social life. The sun is out, bright and shining 6.30 in the morning, the afternoon heat is scorching and the evenings are no better. You sweat, you curse. The humidity makes it worse, it saps you of energy, makes your tresses look like Jimmy Hendrix on a bad hair day and your face like an oil smeared pan. (Imagine Mamata Banerjee on an election campaign).

Granted, you get to wear pleasing summery dresses. It’s a nice excuse to shop, check out the new season collection. Your limbs are out for airing. As long as you are in air conditioned environs, it’s manageable. Try an open air rendezvous. It’s a lost battle. Within minutes you manage sweaty patches on your pristine white outfit and your face starts looking like an overheated tomato. You look hot, but of a different kind.

The fruits make summers vaguely tolerable. You gorge on watermelons, litchis, mangoes (the list is quite long). You guzzle tall glasses of chilled drinks and make Baskin Robbins/Walls a richer company. You try to drown your sorrows in the swimming pool and realize a little belatedly that 40 other people have hit upon the same idea. You bang into over excited kids and wonder how many of them have pee-ed in the pool. You beat a hasty retreat.

Summer is also the time for the school/college break. You are choked to the gills with announcements for summer camps and hobby classes. Hurry now, limited seats available. From taekwondo to jazz you have it all. Parents send their kids in the vain hope of turning them into overnight dancing stars with karate skills. The long summer break also makes it possible to plan a summer getaway. You manage a respite even if briefly. The monsoons make a guest appearance. In Delhi you read about it in magazines: skin care for monsoons, 10 smashing looks for the rains (white sari not included), mouth watering snacks for the season. The odd day it does rain we contentedly watch the downpour come down in sheets from our apartment window.

It’s April and the countdown has begun. The Met department made it worse by announcing normal rains this season (they always manage to be accurately inaccurate). We have already started planning our long awaited vacation. Sour green mangoes have made their dazzling debut. I am sipping my chilled glass of nimbu pani and counting the days. It may just be seven months, but feels like eternity, much like 550 days of summer.


  1. ah... complete round about summary on summer! Life would be boring if it is the same again and again. It is good to know, see and witness the harsh times to cherish the beautiful times :) Good one Purba!

  2. Ah, the joy of commenting while your post is still hot from the oven.
    I like! Not the Daalhee summer, no. The post. You forgot the summer effect on veggies - while Baskin and Walls make hay, Subway profits wilt with its limp lettuce...

  3. some times I wonder if I should have been born among the penguins!!...anyway, hope I am not melted by the end of the summer...have started, though!...my pocket is too!...AC bills!!!:(

  4. Mohan A Summer summary? Damn why didn't I think of that.

    Deven Summer is the gourd season, bitter gourd, wax gourd, long gourd. Oh gourd!

    Nalini Delhi had the warmest March in 110 years. This year, it will be more like 700 days of Summers. Living among Penguins is a good idea :)

  5. During my recent trip back to Kolkata, I was still thinking that I should come back and settle in India. That was early March, and it touched 38 degrees C. Add some chaotic traffic to that - and it's the perfect inferno.
    But I had a nice escape to a village. Even at near-40 temp, it was very soothing.

  6. Nice post Purba. Yes summers have arrived with a bang, post Holi when you start bathing with cold water and bid adieu to winters.
    But summer comes with its share of veggie coolers like kakri and only-found -in-summer fruits like mangoes, litchi, melons and water melons. With them for company, i guess we will sail through :)

  7. Raja: Just when we heaved a sigh of relief for the glaciers that could have melted we face the worst summers ever.
    I can't handle the humidity in Kolkata for the life in me.
    Your village escape sounds good :)

    Daffodils2: Ohh yes the fruits. Guess it's God's way of compensating.

  8. lol! that was hot alright!

  9. I'd be so glad to trade places with you. 550 days of Summers for what feel like 1000 days of Minnesotan winter. Great bargain ! :-) .

    Meandered in from blog-o-sphere..

  10. well it's Dilli wat else can we expect....i have lived my first 20 years ther...and have been living in banglore for last one year....but i find the weather here very boring...it's always the same for the whole 12 months....Dilli gives the fun of all kind of season.......Dilli freezes to 2-3 in the winters.......goes to 48 in the summers.........

    i miss Dilli so much....and want to come back soon

  11. Summer is a dreaded word in the place I live where it is very humid and hot...Let me see whether I do survive this one.
    Hope you have nice time

  12. @magiceye: Hope my article didn't make you sweat :)

    @Madhu: Harsh winters is as bad as harsh summers. And Delhi welcomes you with open arms, we can all happily melt together.

    @Hitesh: It is Winters that makes Delhi livable. I love the road side treats we get to gorge on.

    @Farila: Thank you for visiting :)


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