Hail, Lady Summer

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 23 May 2018 12:11:11







The person who came up with the phrase ‘as hot as hell’ must have visited Vidarbha for sure. For, even though speaking figuratively, he/she must have had some experience of extreme heat, if not ‘hell’. And where else can one gain a finer understanding of ‘hot’ (other than may be Timbuktu orsome Saharan cities) than Vidarbha?Iknow, summers are meant to be ‘hot’, but don’t we sizzle at 41 and 42 degrees? Where isthe need to take it to 46 and 47! The summer, these days, is simply being melodramatic. Come to think of it, she might have her reasons to fume. For, though she lives with us the longest, we show very little regard for her. We celebrate arrival of monsoon with great fanfare. The ‘Vasant’ and the ‘Sharad’ have our jubilations earmarked. Even ‘Shishir’ finds our calendars marked with festivities. But summer, poor summer, is left so un-celebrated. ‘Other than the delicious mangoes, what is there in summer to celebrate’, you may ask and vex the lady even more. She then extends her stay to teach youalesson or two in celebrating sufferance.Isay, ‘hell hath no fury like summer scorned’.

We must admit to our biases and execute a course correction immediately. A little delay in arrival of monsoon and we organise different ‘pujas’ to appease the Varsha Ritu. There are ‘ragas’ and songs and entire plethora of music to appease, invite, praise and eulogise monsoon, but not a word of praise for summer. Let alone praise, we have no gesture to welcome her. We, rather, behave overzealously to shun her away. The hot-headed lady is sure to fume. She is entirely justified in spitting fire. I say, how about invoking summerin our ‘puja’ and having placated, mollified months of not-so-soaring mercury? Rather than cursing the season’s high-handedness, how about creating ragas and music that soothe the temper of the temperature? How about singing songs of summer’s shinning splendor rather than fretting over its scorch and sizzle? We might also do away with issuing threats to our kin and kindred like ‘Save yourself this summer, Drink plenty of water’, ‘Stay indoors,’ ‘Beat the heat with lots of liquid.’ The lady hears it and feels dutybound to kill. Let us rephrase our thoughts and words. Let us say, ‘Enjoy the sizzling summers with gallons of glasses of water.’ ‘Stay indoors, for the benevolent summer is omnipresent.’ ‘Bask in the glory of the heat with liquids.’ In short, let us treat summer every inch likealady - shower compliments upon her to keep her in check, praise her to submission. Once placated, she, too, will get busy with her complexion, etiquettes and public performance, to heed too much to arguments within. Let us make her understand the worldly meanings of grace and respect. Once ‘ladied’, the summer will adjust to the worldly requirements rather than her own. She will not rage or retaliate and we shall have many more months for ‘ease-of-doing-our-business’.

I absolutely believe that my whacky idea may gather some substance once we tread the path of executing it. For all you know, the lady, like a true-blue lady, might insist that she be adorned in green and the gentlemanly world, habituated to pamper rather than preserve, might outdo one another to flatter the lady, showering her with gifts that originally belonged to her.Iknow this is too fantastic an idea, but why not give it a try? It fits so perfectly with our habituations. We mistreat and mollycoddle in equal measures. Mistreatment and mollycoddling: Ladies of the world will vouch that those have been effective tools of human cunning to bring the world this far into our civilised existence. Aren’t we doing the same to our Mother Nature? We can as well do that to Lady Summer. And she’ll be ours before she knows. I suggest, we must give up on this honest position of ‘feeling the heat.’ We must pretend comfort, like we do at so many other places and on so many occasions. On so many other occasions have we sweet-talked, coaxed and cajoled to turn the tide in our favour. Let us behave ditto. Sweet-talk our way into summer’s heart. There is, of course, the long way of course correction. But given our hatred for the long way, our penchant for looking the other way and our affinity to our habituations, I think sweet talk is what we can do the best. Let’s use our best weapon to turn the tables on the temperature. Let us end summer’s tirade with our own charade. Let us sing to Summer’s praise. “Hail, Lady Summer, the giver of light and heat Eulogies to thy gracious presence, so soulfully do we bleat Singe us not, O Lady!, be at your graceful best Take your own sweet time; before we meet next”.