MIDWAY : Sweltering summer

Preena Shrestha

It’s brutally hot. You wake up drenched in sweat and staring right into the face of the sun at not even seven. That rusty fan didn’t do much good in terms of cooling you down, or warding off the mosquitoes for that matter, though it did keep you awake half the night with its annoying rattling.

The water from the tap is warm. Even the wind is nothing but a gust of hot air and you feel trapped in a sauna world. You complain all the time and can’t even think straight. You open the freezer to have a glass of chilled water, but your mom, worried about the sore throat you complained last night, has unloaded all the bottles you so carefully placed in the refrigerator. Sneaking a look around to see if your dad is watching, you grab juice can and drink right out of it. Some relief!

You don’t retreat from the freezer anytime soon since it feels like in heaven to stand in front of the open freezer door. You spend most of your day watching TV with the fan facing right on your face. You begin to grow restless and bored.

Phone call. Your friend is shouting at you for being so lazy and breaking three consecutive dates with her. Guilt takes over, and you mumble something about being sick, but she doesn’t buy it. “Everyone is here,” she says, trying to convince you to get out of the house, but one look out the window and you’re blinded by the sunlight reflecting on your neighbour’s metal awning. No way are you stepping out in this heat. Exasperated, she gives up and you wonder how in the world anybody can have the energy to do anything in such a heat.

Soon, you’re trying several things to keep cool, from mashing cucumbers to ice patches to filling up empty perfume bottle with water, hoping to stumble upon a new invention of some sort. But all you ever really manage to create is a mess in the kitchen. Finally, evening arrives, but its not until 6:30 that the sun finally heads West, and despite the growing darkness its still hot, not to mention those damn mosquitoes that buzz in your ears in a most annoying manner and strike you in the most inappropriate places. An hour in the terrace under the stars is probably the only time you’re actually at peace, but you can’t stay there forever. The only thing in my mind: I can’t wait for the rains.