MIDWAY : Summer slams

Biswas Baral

The summer is well and truly here, and by the looks of things, it is hear to stay. As I write, it’s raining outside. The early rain comes as a welcome harbinger to a relatively cooler summer, though the humidity may go up a notch. I perennially hate summers. Not only do all the waterborne diseases afflict me, but the hot season makes my body limp and I incessantly perspire. I am tossing and turning in my bed half the night with my body drenched in sweat.

With the mercury soaring, many people have already lost their lives to the sweltering heat in Nepal and her neighbours. The temperature in some places like Nepalgunj borders 40 degree Celsius, and I was flabbergasted to see the temperature rise nearly to 50 in Ahmedabad, as I could only pity the residents. Everything is heating up these days including the Indian political scene after the battle royal between the pro-Hindu NDA alliance and the secularist Congress coalition in India, and after the former got a drubbing.

Surprisingly, the duel between the street-bound pro democratic forces and the regressive government has reached a simmering point after the resignation of Surya B Thapa. The King is not ready to budge, though; the parties remain adamant; and the Maoists have left no stones unturned in serenading to their political counterparts. The international front couldn’t be any cooler, either. The Bush administration, already mired in chaos due to the recent upsurge in killing of the American troops, have hit a wall in Iraq after the Abu Ghraib prisoners’ abuse surfaced. Democrats are soaking up the heat as John Kerry is all set to become the 44th president of America.

South Africa finally won the World Cup football bid — to host the 2010 cup — so I am expecting a ‘super-hot’ world cup, as well. I almost forgot, only bills come via our taps these days, not water! It may not be an unwise decision to befriend someone with a running tap in his house — if you can find one, that is: you can casually drop by his abode every weekend to get a swill down, asking for his permission, ever so humbly. I sincerely hope the summer cools down (against every prediction). I hope the ever so precious water will not be wasted on keeping agitators at bay and, that, we will soon find an oasis in this arid climate of regression, agitation and crippling bandhas. Let us not lose our optimism. If an Italian born Catholic can single-han-dedly uproot the flourishing Lotus from a pond of over a billion people, anything is possible.