April 24th, 2019

Summer time & the living is…


The answer depends who you are, really.

Delhi summer living is uncomfortably hot. As I write, it is 42C.

Here, don’t believe me? Screen shot, taken just now.

Next week, the temperature will hit 44C, and we are still in the month of April.

OK, fair enough, Tuesday, when it’s forecast to touch 44C, is admittedly the last day of April, but we still have May and June to get through before we can even dream of rain.

So, yes, back to the title of my blog – “Summer time and the living is…”

Well, for people like me, “summer time and the living is…” very, very hot, but people like me survive, because we can afford fans, and A/Cs when it’s super hot, and we have access to clean cold water all the time, and a car to get around.

But for the thousands upon thousands of people who live in this vast, dusty, noisy city, summers are tough. Unimaginably tough.

To be honest, Delhi is a wretched city to live in, if you are not insulated from the extremes of weather, pollution and incessant noise. Summers are brutally hot and winters are polluted and cold.

This morning, driving back from running group (already privileged) in my A/C car (privileged) with bottles of cold water to drink (privileged), I stopped at a traffic light. It wasn’t yet 8 o’clock, but the temperature was already over 30C, and there was a leper, begging at the lights.

A leper.

Standing in the sun and the noise and the pollution.


I tell you, this city can reduce you to tears.

I go through these emotions on a regular basis.

Every year, be it every summer or every winter, comes the realisation that my dogs have access to coolers/heaters whilst so many thousands of humans don’t.

My dogs have proper food and clean water and regular medical check ups.

Right now, they are both flopping under a fan, in a room darkened by curtains, with water bowls to hand.

There is nothing remotely praise-worthy at all about my treatment of my dogs. It is normal responsible pet-owner behaviour, but when you stop to think that my dogs are more comfortable than many humans are, well, it leaves a very nasty taste in the mouth.

I cannot even contemplate tackling the myriad issues in play here in Delhi.

Damn it, I can’t even vote the upcoming elections, so I really am nothing more than a keyboard warrior.

So I do what little I can.

We have a new “matkar” outside our house, on the street, for anyone who wants a drink of cold, filtered water.

We have bowls of water out for the birds and squirrels.

And, inspired by my intrepid daughter whose car resembles a mobile water-station, I now carry bottles of cold water in my car, to give away to anyone who needs a drink.

Unfortunately carrying water to distribute involves (yet more) plastic, the curse of our times, but needs must, I’m afraid.

People need to drink in this fierce heat.

I know every one of you lovely people reading this is a kind soul.

I just know it.

But please won’t you try and make an effort to carry extra water with you to give away to people in need? Freeze the bottles overnight and pop them in your car when you leave in the morning.

Put a matkar out for passers by.

Put bowls down for the stray dogs, and the stray cats, and the cows, and the birds and the squirrels.

Of course, if you put a really big bowl down, like some kind soul on my street, you might just end up with this 🙂

Bless him!!

Stay cool friends.

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