The morning after

It happens every year. Exactly the same progression of events, just in higher degrees of suffering and desperation. Every year, the summer slowly gets to me. The air gets thicker and stickier still as the weeks inch along painfully. The insides of my home get progressively stiller, stuffier and by the end of May I’m at that point (usually a weekend) where I absolutely cannot take it anymore. The tipping point, when the mind boggles just wondering how much hotter it can possibly get, and a whole 24 hours is spent indoors within an artificially cooled room, eventually comes when the heat builds up to this impossible crescendo of sweat and tears. This year has been no different. Just a little extended and the agony a little prolonged. It’s June and the much awaited monsoon is yet to make an appearance.

Sultry days, even the farmers are wrapping up.
Sultry days, even the farmers are wrapping up.

I’ve been a wreck this summer, but you know that already. And what that means is I’m constantly battling a condition where my energy is fading faster than I can double up on the Enerzal; a perennially wilted, sticky and oily face; all new rock bottom lows in enthusiasm to do anything goes. Things are off, something is wrong, to put it slightly ambiguously. And as is always the case, when my head and heart are not at peace, it begins to reflect around me. The house is a bit of a mess — nothing major, small niggling signs that prick me when I notice them. Piles of dry clothes lie unfolded and the mountain is only growing. My fridge needs cleaning, but I couldn’t be bothered. I’ve slacked off big time on supplies too. Anymore and we will wake up one day to no toothpaste. In fact there’s many things that need to be replenished but the list that usually comes to with a little thought at the start of the month, attacks me at odd times in fits and snatches, and I’m feeling a bit inadequate because I don’t have a handle on it all. Basic chores that I am usually very prompt about are lying undone for days on end. Meals are half-assed excuses to get some food down our gullets. Cooking has been stripped down to the bare minimum. Repurposing leftovers is the name of the game. Because what little enthusiasm I muster at the start of every day is reduced to a tiny smidgen that is quickly squished to nothingness by noon. After that I struggle to eat lunch — or worse, make a meal of falooda or buttermilk — and then lie on the floor under the fan for the next 3-4 hours doing absolutely nothing.

One day, I decided to get out and get fresh. The relief was short-lived.
One day, I decided to get out and get fresh. The relief was short-lived.

Even picking up a book to read seems to be a chore. I seriously can’t remember the last time I baked anything. I have let the food blog die a silent death once again, and getting any writing done is proving to be a draining activity. Getting some real brain work done is close to unthinkable, because even the most basic stuff is a herculean task. I have been moping around for the last few weeks, this unexplained listlessness wrapped over me like a shroud I cannot shed. The sheer inertia is impossible to shrug off and movement is unimaginable. Thank god my work load is a lot lesser, but somehow its still piling on like never before — how?! It’s totally not like me to leave emails unanswered, and the list is now spilling out of my inbox because I can’t get myself to sit at my laptop long enough and focus on something productive. The only thing that has managed to channel some amount of productivity and focused energy is the planning and organising of this event (a post on that is in order) and a binge-fest of all eight seasons of That 70s Show (a post on that is coming up too). Apart from these things and working out like a maniac (seriously the only boost of energy in any given day), all I seem to be doing is perfecting the art of lying around and waiting for something to change.

Summer temptation. Successfully curbed.
Summer temptation. Successfully curbed.

That was the state of affairs until Monday — which I officially call the worst day of the season, thus far. That impossibly, blindingly bright white-hot summer that hits you in slanting rays you can shield yourself from, no matter how hard you try. Indoors its a furnace, outside its a sauna. The good thing is when you reach that day when even just breathing becomes difficult, forget moving around and getting much done, you know the next day will most certainly be a rainy one. And sure enough, it came down on us at midnight. In bright flashes of lightning that lit the deep blue square of darkness that is my window, punctuated by the crack and bang of roaring thunder. Of course I woke up and was delirious for excitement, peeked outside and watched it wash down for a good fifteen minutes, before I decided I could sleep in peace again.

Wild things make a spot of joy in an otherwise tired day
Wild things make a spot of joy in an otherwise tired day

One good pre-monsoon wash is all it takes for temperatures to dash down to the 20s. The dust has settled and I feel like the clouds have lifted. I can breathe again. I can live again. Almost instantly, the morning after was a relief. The metaphoric spring in my step was back. I woke up and went about things with renewed alacrity, like the person I was for the past few weeks had been shed like a discarded sock, flung off my foot at the end of a long and tiring day. And an energetic me surfaced from beneath, pumped with energy from reserves I didn’t know existed.

When the last shred of desperation snapped. I shopped my hair off.
When the last shred of desperation snapped. I chopped my hair off.

As summer inches along, I wait for this kind of a morning. The morning after. The morning after a night of  beautiful rain. The morning after a night of beautiful rain, following a wickedly hot day. It’s like pouring a bucketful of water and putting out a hungry fire, in a single, sweeping, all-consuming move that shows who’s boss. It’s like watching with a sigh of relief, as the last embers die out hissing silently, and knowing you ended it in the nick of time. Anymore and it might have burnt too far. And then you stamp the ground with pounding steps, stifling the last embers gasping for breath, killing what was left of the wretched, destructive heat and speckles of sordid summery that they carry. You go to bed, rest assured that the morning after will see a new day.

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18 Replies to “The morning after”

  1. And here is people like me who want the heat to come over.. and no more rain..
    It’s been raining everyday and that’s the reason I am stuck inside as can’t do anything outside. .

    Wonders of nature I guess so hot that side of world and rainy cold this side.

  2. What a coincidence! I am totally OD’ing on the 70’s show.. In my case, my suddenly mobile son is driving me to lock myself in any room in the house and pretend I was never born, never met the husband, never got married, never got pregnant and never gave birth to this hippie.

    Ummm.. But i still love that dirty hippie :D

    You’ve actually articulated the sheer annoyance that summer has become, even in god-forsaken Bangalore!

    1. Hehehe, hippie it seems! Such a bundle of giggles he looks like :D
      I have to write a post on That 70s Show. Iv actually watched the entire show about 5-6 years ago. But something about revisiting it now, is making all sorts of new things pop up and Im seeing the show in an entirely new light. It is not just thoroughly entertaining and downright hilarious, but has its poignant moments, which were totally lost on me a few years ago :)

    1. Thanks, thanks :) Im loving it too. Have had it short for almost a year now, but this is the shortest its ever been. I dont know how Im going to go back to long hair now that I have tasted this freedom.

    1. So bloody delayed na?! :( i wrote this gushing ode to night rains and the joy of the morning after as it was pouring last night. Went to sleep fully expecting a delightful day. It seems just to spite me nature has switched things around again. It was HORRID today :(

  3. The hair cut looks cool, though not sure if it’s as short as it looks, or you’ve just put it up.. Are you on good reads? I recently got active there, and would love to add you if you are.

    1. Its the shortest its ever been at the back, they used an electric buzzer, and I havent done that in decades now :O
      The front bits are longer, though. I wanted to have it all off — #3 buzz cut, forget the styling, I just wanted it off. But they talked me out of it hmmpph.
      I am on good reads but not active at all :-/

  4. The new haircut is so very chic. And your “zumbaofied” body is really looking hot from what I can see. Yup, summer in Goa sucks, until the glorious monsoons arrive that is. I recall, come summer heat, we would escape via the ghats to Belgaum where it used to be much cooler.

    1. Thank you Deepa, it doesnt always look chic, given the crazy levels of sweatiness, but yes its damn bloody good to have it off my neck and Im really not missing the added head-weight ;) Summer in Goa is mostly miserable, but it has never bothered me as much as it did this year. Maybe next year you will have me repeating this, swearing THAT is the worst summer.. seems to be the pattern. Escaping is a good idea — I did. Went away twice to Bangalore in the last two months, but invariably have to come back home and the return is usually much harder. Just counting down, a few days to go and the rains will be here. News is the monsoon has hit Kerala already. *goes back to doing the raindance on the balcony*

  5. Its been raining here too..i am happy..my plants get a new life but Haathi i gotta wear that big black tamboo of a raincoat to work everyday as i ride my bike :( thats it..thats my only complain

  6. I feel your pain! Its horrid and hot here too, I’m just thankful for no humidity. I would be completely batshit if it was humid and hot… hopefully rains soon

    1. The humidity is what kills actually. Makes it easily 8-10 degrees hotter than it actually is. Last week was a tease with all the sprinkly, sporadic showers which actually take the humidity up when it stops. Today it seems to be overcast and rainy, more than usual. I hope its here to stay now. Im really totally done with summer.

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