Surprised? How can a season replete with an unforgiving sun, scorching rays cutting through the last ounces of energy and a constant feeling of haplessness be anything but cruel? But if we look at the bright and sunny (pun intended) side of this particular season, you’ll find reasons aplenty to appreciate its beauty and vivacity. Life comes alive in many forms and a celebratory effect dances around till summers last. Going by the adage, “If you cannot change a situation, learn to deal with it”, it’s more prudent to learn to deal with the season effectively than to sit and moan about it.
Being born in a tropical country, at a very young age the realization dawned upon me that there is no way this “horrible summer heat” could be escaped from. That’s when I learnt age old tricks of defying the ever sweltering surroundings. Summers will visit us every year and it’s a fantastic idea to adapt to it and welcome it.
My rather curious love for the “Indian Summers” started and grew to phenomenal heights during my one month stay in the US. I happened to be there during a time when the winter was almost over, yet it was snowing in some parts of the country. It snowed so much during the first five days of my stay there that all my previously held romantic notions about the soft white cottony snow evaporated in a microsecond. I started craving for good ol’ Sun. I started admiring the nice warm summers back home and wished that the sun would come up from its hibernation. For days together I would get up early in the morning only to find that there was no hint of the sun rays. I almost went into a state of depression, when all I could see around me was snow. Though, from the window, the scene was every bit picturesque as one of those perfect Hallmark cards, it was not something I looked forward to seeing day after day. I needed some sunshine, both in my life and outside my window. To step outside, one had to dress like an Eskimo and if you braved the cold and took your hand out of the glove, hoping for some nice snowflakes, all you got was a nasty frostbite.
Gosh, India was so much more fun, full of colors and variety. And lots of sun. Lots and lots of the little sunbeams, warming up your body. The moment I landed in India, I was quite overcome with giddy happiness. The deliciously balmy sun rays touched my skin and sent me into raptures. The smell of humidity in the air and the colors of the flowers all added to my happiness. I was home.
Summer is a season to celebrate because of the brightness it brings to our lives. As you walk along the streets, you find colorful ice golas being sold by vendors. Young kids, free from school, play along the length of the road, the heat notwithstanding. Young girls carrying colorful umbrellas are a sight to behold and the different flavors of ice cream that our “Kwality Walls” comes up with are gastronomic delights all of us have experienced. We eagerly await the king of fruits, the mango, to grace our dessert palate. Long after the fruit has been eaten, we lick our fingers with a dreamy look on our faces. Succulent red watermelons, ripe purple plums and golden yellow muskmelons are grabbed and gobbled down at lightning speed by kids and adults alike. Nothing can be more pleasurable than getting up with the rays penetrating through the curtains and hitting the face, the fresh early morning breeze and a nice cup of coffee. The lazy winters are always ready to take us back to bed but the summer mornings bring brightness to the day.
The different smells and sights of summer can be a real treat to the olfactory nerves and the eyes. The smell of fresh ripe mangoes that result in yummy shrikand, the intoxicating smell of fresh ground coffee beans that become the “cold coffee” and of course, the ubiquitous “mango pickle”. Enter any conventional Telugu household” and you will be hit by a maelstrom of colors and odors of the green tangy raw mangoes, ripe red chilies and the aroma of assortment of spices and condiments – the sum total of which is much greater than each part – the avakkaya pickle.
I personally believe that no other season offers so much variety and reason for celebration as summer.
Ignore the sweat and heat and hit the streets and enjoy the warm and “hot” summers till they last and celebrate life, because once the rains start then it’s all about slush and mud and bad roads and mosquitoes.
Or, should we put our own optimistic spin on the monsoons as well? 🙂
What is your happiest memory? Describe it in rich detail — the setting, the sights, the sounds, the smells.