Monday, May 23, 2005

Get cool quick schemes

I am running out of words to describe how hot it is. Outdoors, my skin feels like its being broiled. And when I return home, no matter how early or late, as soon as I enter, I can feel the heat weigh down on me. I have little recourse but to switch on the air conditioner for longer than I intend to. Am dreading the electricity bill.

This was a long weekend, with Monday a holiday for Budh Purnima. And for the first time, I was not really looking forward to it. Office with its central air-conditioning seemed such a better alternative!

We decided to see a movie on Sunday so that we could spend the afternoon – the hottest part of the day away from our hot apartment. And so we did, even though it meant dragging oneself off after a heavy Sunday lunch at 4pm to go to the nearest cinema hall, some 15 minutes away. We returned home at 9.30 after spending a pleasant evening watching a movie and a sumptuous meal. The enitre area was very dark. But we weren’t really worried. We have a big inverter and till date, there never has been an all night power cut.

I decided to check on my plants –a nightly routine, when I saw my neigbour sitting on her terrace fanning herself with a hand fan. She told me that the power had been coming and going since 4pm, a good 6 hours or so. There seems to be some grid failure. And as a result, her inverters too were running low on charge. I rushed indoors to tell A and we decided to switch off the fans and sit out in the verandah, which we did till, the mosquitoes drove us indoors. Inside the heat was too stifling. We opened every single window and door in the hope of cajoling in some of the coolness outside but the bed was really warm. Little of the coolness came in. Instead the mosquitoes did, and in hordes. The power came on and we ran to shut every door and window and switch on the AC. And just as we are about to retire in relief, the power went off. Again we opened the doors and the windows and so on and so forth.

A decided on an old Delhi trick – sprinkling the mattresses with water and laying down on it. Even the lazy swishing of the fan made the room much cooler. I had never heard of a thing like this and was understandably very reluctant. A lay down on his side of the bed, oohing and aahing about how wonderful it was and that sort of convinced me to try the same. That gave us some relief. We both kept mugs of water next to the bed and kept sprinkling more water on to the bed.

We have been trying all sorts of get cool quick schemes including drinking gallons of liquid and nimbu pani and eating light lunches, filling up buckets, before the water in the overhead tank gets too hot), keeping the shades drawn etc. And now I am nice and cool, having hit upon the ultimate cool idea….have sneaked off to office, citing work!

Meanwhile, the bunch of people working on the transformer thingy (bang opposite our house) has swelled in numbers. They have been at it since early morning and yet, no sign of power. And I have a guest coming to visit me this evening…

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