The heat

We returned from a trip Bombay on Tuesday and we walked out into heat so intense it was like stepping into something solid. It makes everything and everyone move slowly, like the air here is made of molasses or something equally viscous. This actually mirrors our political situation: we in Tamil Nadu are waiting for the election results on Friday, and until then it seems like everything is in limbo. Electricity has been pretty bad, with at least an hour without power during the day and sometimes an hour or more gone at night. One evening I came home at sunset, and found my landlord on my terrace (my apartment is actually on the terrace – so you can just imagine the heat) feeding her young daughter her dinner because the electricity had gone out and this was the only place in the building with any breeze. I asked her whether she called the Electricity Board. She replied what was the point of complaining when there was no-one in power to take care of things.

When I read this article below, I liked the picture it painted of life here, not entirely inaccurate, of days spent entirely locked in the house away from the sun’s rays, and evenings spent entirely in pursuit of refreshing natural drinks. My reality here involves a little less thronging though.

Chennai, Puducherry reel under sweltering heat

Chennai, May 8 (PTI) With the onset of ‘Kathri’ on May 4, signalling the hottest days of the summer season, Chennai city and its suburbs continued to reel under sweltering heat for the fourth successive day, today. The temperature today shot up to 42 degrees Celsius at Nungambakkam and suburban Meenambakkam. The temperature has been crossing 37.7 degrees Celsius in the city and its suburbs for the past few days. To beat the oppressive heat, people stayed indoors while those who ventured out thronged fruit juice and tender coconut shops. As evening set in, people thronged the Marina Beach to escape the heat. In neighbouring Puducherry, most thoroughfares were deserted as the mercury soared to touch 40.2 degree Celsius. Stalls selling tender coconuts, juice and ice cream parlours did roaring business. People thronged the seashore, the Bharathi Park in the heart of the town and the sprawling century-old government botanical garden at Odiansalai.

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