It is 3 am and I am still awake, thanks to an ill advised coffee. The heat is quite stifling. Every year I meet the Mumbai summer with fresh surprise. Every year, I can't recall it being quite this bad. I've never faced a summer quite as potent as Mumbai's before. I've seen warmer climates with higher temperatures, but what gets to me is this humidity, which makes every breath an effort and covers me in a sheen of perspiration half an hour after a bath. When you emerge from an air conditioned room, it slams you in the face like an unyielding wall.
Smells seem more intense in this dense, warm air. Yesterday A, G and I went for a walk. We saw a butta seller fanning the flames of his tiny coal stove, in the dusk. He stood in a circle of shimmering sparks as a most delicious smell spread around. Roasting corn on the cob is definitely another of my favourite smells.
A few days ago, Amma and I paused before a jasmine seller at a railway station. The buds were small and hard, but their fragrance spread around the station, almost intoxicatingly sweet.
The heat makes me languorous. Waking up in the mornings seems pointless, till the sticky warmth forces me to shift. Every movement is an effort, every thought a strain. I procrastinate and laze inexcusably and glibly blame it all on the heat. It is of course fitting that this is one of the busiest times of the year. April is here and the semester is wrapping up. Project deadlines loom, valfi profiles have to be written, exams have to be mugged for. My caffeine fix is perhaps a godsend, I can use the time to do something productive But I know I won't. Like Scarlett O'Hara I whisper to myself, "I'll think of it tomorrow. Tomorrow is another day" and take myself off to bed.