A Summer Day

Woman in reflection

The summer in this city is so fleeting that you don’t even invest in a summer wardrobe. Much as I whined my way through summers in Delhi and other cities, drowning in my own sweat and giddy-headed with dehydration, I miss it all. It’s not that I mind the mildness of the summer here, but sometimes I find myself wishing for a real summer. The kind that makes you reach for a glass of nimbu-pani.

But on some days, London can get really hot. Those rare days, when the whole city wears shades, and thirty minutes in the sun might actually burn your skin. The sky turns a brilliant blue, save for a few puffs of clouds. Yesterday, as the temperature finally touched the late twenties, and inside the tube, people were fanning themselves, I was almost glad. Sharp sun streaming through, reflections, people dozing off, and women’s hair up in buns. There’s that familiar drowziness. And yes, that’s what I really miss. The afternoon lethargy of a real summer. And the elation that follows when you finally walk into your home, calmed by the cold, thick walls.

10 Comments

Filed under London, Photographs

10 Responses to A Summer Day

  1. great composition. lovely picture.

  2. Ditto (as Harini says).

    Except that the houses here also get very warm on warm days, and opening windows will only get one loudly buzzing fly chasing which will then take your whole afternoon ;-)

    I noticed it was warm when I went out at 11am. Otherwise blinds down, lamp on, I am spending this summer in my study like I did the last one – last year it was the thesis, this year it is various client projects and er, the thesis, now pending minor corrections, which must be done, soon. I will work to _your_deadline Neha ;-)

  3. Curiosity – when I am typing a comment, I can see my ‘avatar’ in the preview function below but not after posting. What explains this strangeness? :-/

  4. Really good picture.

  5. Before moving to Banglore, I always wished that I could live in a cooler place. Now I have finally realized, there is no such thing as good weather, there is only Acclimatisation. Nice picture, although there is nothing summery about it.

  6. These days I find myself saying – it’s really hot, it’s in the 80s! Even touched 90s today! It’s quite horrifying to find that after routinely living through 90s and 100s (in dry cities like Delhi too), I now think anything higher than 70s is hot :(

  7. harini: Thanks. I have no idea why, but I am beginning to love this image. Sort of transports me to a certain moment.

    Shefaly: So true. The houses here are designed to trap heat. I am sitting a few feet away from my big table fan and battling the mugginess. I hate to admit this – but I love it. :) As for my deadlines.. ermm.. am on it!

    About the gravatar thing – I disabled it in the actual comments, was cluttering up space. But I am getting tired of this theme.. once my dissertation is over and I have some time – I think I might play around with this for a while. :)

    Grasshopper: Unfortunately, for someone living in London, this is as summery as it will get. Sleeveless, streams of sunlight, the whole carriage lit with the sun, dwarfing the electric lights. I think I can more or less like any weather – if I have the right clothes. But I have to confess that battling with three layers of warm clothes in the winters really puts me off!

    Banno: Thanks!

    Lekhni: I always dread telling people back home in India when I am there that I am feeling hot, for the fear of being called a desi firang. But give me the heat anyday over the cold in this country. Though the Delhi winters are a whole different deal. Sigh.

  8. Wiping off sweat in a rainless Mumbai last week, no sun now for the last 3 days, and just got back sloshing through knee deep water after the monsoon just remembered how to rain in Mumbai, huge winds and all. I sometimes think the weather replicates the typical “behaviour” of a country. Consistent drizzling, extended cloudy skies, limited bright and sunny days, and unbrearably cold days; a very stiff-upper-lip-weather. And we oscillate wildly between fiery summers, torrential rains and slightly more tolerable winters, (if there is a winter at all, like in Mumbai); a very understandable weather for the huge spectrum of people we have, religion/customs/languages/beliefs/problems due to all these….

    Enjoy your sunshine (while I have a cup of ginger-tea in the monsoon… )

  9. I can understand how you feel. I also suspect that it is not just about the summer, it must also have something to do with the people in India that makes summers what they are.

    Like a lone swallow will not summer make, nor will a lone sunny day.

  10. What a beautifully written description of your nostalgia for home!