I realise the impact of the printed word. We were getting along fine, braving the summer heat, till now .
But two days ago we woke up to read ‘Hottest day at 44.5C’ in large, bold font in all the newspapers. The TV channels took it from there. With added visual effects, shots of dry lake beds, blazing sun et al. Suddenly the heat became unbearable. People had dour expressions.
The smiles vanished.
Fans, coolers, ACs were kept running at maximum speed and lowest temperatures. Apparently, these machines are not ‘India ready’ as some claim to be. The Electricity Department immediately took note of the increased power consumption and enforced longer hours of power cut.
I see fellow humans complaining of the heat, not stirring out of air conditioned rooms, guzzling unhealthy drinks to quench thirst. But then it does baffle me, when at mealtime, they forget their woes and find themselves seated in front of a plate of hot steaming rice over which is poured a spoon of ghee and a decent ( or should I say indecent ) serving of fresh avakayya – the famous Andhra mango pickle – made with the spiciest of Guntur red chillies. They eat with relish.
Beads of perspiration line the forehead. It is only then he smiles,
Strange are the ways of men.