Ah, scorching hot summer!
That wonderful time of year when your electricity bills are higher than your monthly EMI; that time when you contemplate cooking eggs on a pan outside on the pavement because it's heated up like a furnace; and also the time when you feel the need to take out over mitts just to handle the car's flaming hot steering wheel.
Yes, the glorious sweltering, make-your-clothes-stick-to-your-body and leaves-sweaty-patches-all-over-your-shirt summer is here. And it’s just beginning.
As you've probably gathered, I am not a big fan - Pardon the pun! While I cannot deny that fact that my son does have over 70 days of summer holidays - or joyriding doing whatever he pleases while I try to work from home, as I call it - does contribute in parts to my irritability, that is not the key reason for my discomfort with these dazzling days of the sun. It is the heat. And the humidity that comes with the heat that does many 'unspeakable things' to my hair.
One of the life-changing discoveries in the 3 decades that I've been here, is that once the temperature starts to soar over 20-degree-celsius, my body starts to react rather violently; and that reaction is called 'sweating' - something that drives me to the point of being bonkers.
My tryst with the heat also seems to get worse during the summer months because of another reason. And that is because of this amazing place called The Gym. Now, before you burst out laughing at the thought of me being at the gym, let me give you a little history here. I’m pretty rotund. Okay, who am I kidding? I am the big fat panda. But here’s the thing - the reason why I always end up considering hitting the gym during summer months is because that’s the time I realise that I no longer have the luxury of hiding my round shape under a jacket or sweater. And also because in this case, there’s a bakery right opposite my gym.
But while my sense of hygiene is debatable at times, two things that I find rather difficult to appreciate are sweaty gym equipment (hello, there are tissue boxes, paper towels, and gym towels for a reason!) and the fact that most people in the gym do not seem to have heard of this thing called a deodorant.
I complete understand this - we sweat. All of us do. And it gets worse during summer. In fact, I often say that the plus side of hitting the gym during summer is that you could simply stand on the treadmill and walk away with enough sweat to make you think like you ran a marathon. I call it - the illusion of exercise. But the body odour is unbelievable. Especially when, if the advertising is to be believed, we now have not just 4 or 8-hour, but 48 hour-lasting deos.
But the issue is that during summers, most people at the gym sweat like sinners at a church during confession.And it is not a fun place to be stuck at. In fact, I find myself muttering a silent prayer of gratitude for the fact that I am not Spiderman. It cannot be a fun experience trying to get out of the spandex-like suit during summer.
So rightfully, I am not much of a summer person. And if I think about it, I believe I may have been spoilt by my time in the UK. To most people who love the sunny and hot weather, summer in the UK is very much like your favourite actor making a guest appearance in an otherwise awful movie. Pretty much the only 'weather highlight' in a country that is mostly wet, windy and overcast. In some ways, summer in the UK is like the happy ending that you were promised with the girl of your dreams, but it 'came too soon'.
I believe I may have the privilege of being part of a small portion of people who actually did not mind the relatively short duration of summer while in the UK. So needless to say, when we returned to India, I was in a world of pain. My Global Warming (yes, it's a real thing - President Trump) had been busy at work, and even the otherwise manageable Bangalore seemed to be getting all 'heated up'. Which meant that my wife and I suddenly had another bone to pick.
[tweetbox design="box09" float="none"]On the list of things that cause 'boudoir discontent' amongst married couples, adjusting the temperature of the AC ranks right up there[/tweet_box]
Some like it hot. And some like it cold. In the bedroom, I mean. The challenge is often finding the middle ground. My wife, for instance, needs the comfort of a warm room to sleep. I wouldn't go on to say that it needs to be a furnace (although, personally I do feel like that some days!), but she can't sleep in a reasonably cold room. Now, me on the other hand, I would rather have the room feel like an igloo.
So my wife and I often ended up playing a game that I now fondly refer to as 'Attack of the Blanket Hogger', in the middle of the night. My wife loves to be wrapped up like an Egyptian Mummy, failing which she finds her nightly rendezvous with sleep quite arduous. I, on the other hand, am not too fond of blankets. I'm more of a free spirit and will only use a blanket as the last resort. The problem starts during the wee hours of the morning when my wife wakes up shivering, only to discover that the blanket is now being hogged by me. Yes, the very same person who coincidentally gave her the long lecture about 'blankets being for wimps' and insisted on having the AC on the coldest possible setting.
So, yes, summer for me is a tough period. Between expelling my body weight in sweat, battling sticky equipment and smelly folks at the gym, trying to lose weight while the bakery opposite the gym bake delectable goodies and having blanket and temperature-setting wars with my better half, I have decided that the saner option is just to tell people that I'm not fat; I am just hot and expand during summer.
And of course, as some famous person said once,’Fortunately my culture believes in cremation. So I still have a chance to have a ‘smoking hot body’.