June 9, 2015

Summers Can Be Fun Too

“You have the right attitude towards it. Summers, have become an unwanted and a much-maligned guest in India. No one seems to want them or like them,” laments Shobha who has reasons to enjoy the winters as well as the summers with equal fervor.

She continues, “Have you ever seen a child ever cribbing about the summers or winters? It is always the mother who is complaining, “Arey, thand lag jayegi” or “Garmi lag jayegi”. Of course, with a little planning, you can have fun even in stuffy and sultry days of summer.”

“But what is wrong with the summer,” asks Brigadier Murli vehemently. “The fact is that it is our basic work culture to find a suitable excuse to slow down, or not work at all. It is either “such terrible heat” or “such shivering cold”. You see, the net result is the same. "Personally, I like the summers because the longer days give me more golfing time.”, he continues.
Now listen to Manjeet, an NRI: “You will be surprised that, whenever I come back home, I find the winters to be more oppressive than the summers”, says Manjeet. “I have a perpetual cold, flu, and the aches, even when the mercury is at 10 degree celsius, a very comfortable temperature by the standards abroad.”
“I think the reason is simple enough; we are not adequately equipped to cope with the winters. Abroad, we work in half sleeves once indoors, while outside it may be snowing. How can you possibly perform with numb hands, and loads of woollies on you? I think, summers are far easier to cope with.” says Manjeet.

girl holding summer banner
Arundhati  is of the view that “If you have work to do, summers provide you with enough time.” She adds, “I don’t like to call it a long-day-ahead, but feel happy that I don’t have to rush through any chores before it is sundown again. Somehow our system is tuned to the solar rhythm; so we get up with the sunrise, and shut-eye with the sun-down. The winters hardly give you any working time with that kind of philosphy.”
She continues: “But, again, in summers, we tend to waste a lot of time with the legacy of 10 to 5 working hours. We waste the most productive hours of the summer days in reading newspaper and commuting to work. I think, our workign day should begin much earlier, say at 7 a.m.”

“I don’t mind the winters, but what is wrong with summers?” asserts college going Rima. “In fact, I feel really nice and light during the summers,” and adds feelingly:“Imagine the luxury of twice-a-day long showers, light breezy clothes, the weekend swims, gallons of cool drinks and loads of ice-creams! Yes, it is bad if electricity lets you down, and the fan and A.C stop working …. but that is an occupational hazard, quips Rima.
No hill stations
“I don’t think it is quite necessary to go to the hill stations…. They are so crowded, and so expensive – after all, the locals have to make up for their off-season expenses also, whereas you feel even more miserable when you get back after a short stint in the hills, first because you feel the heat even more, and secondly because of the big hole in your purse through which your savings have got drained out…You really don’t get your VFM (Value for Money). In fact, you feel terribly cheated,” says Mrs. Bakshi.
She concludes: “I would rather sit in the cozy comforts of  my room with the AC switched on, of course at an appropriate temperature, rather than spending a miserable time in the hills….you can’t even tell your friends that you had a miserable time – it will sound totally out of fashion… I would rather stay at home, where I have a set routine and all the support facilities.”
“A few precautions taken during the summers can make it a truly wonderful time,” says Anuradha, a beautician and dietician, and goes on to spell them out.
Clothing: Summer is not the time to go “Hep” in a devastating  blaze of colours so deliciously westernized, but have little relevance to the prevailing climate. Don’t get carried away by the tinsel worlds or the fashion shows. They have little to offer, and so leave them for the so called trend-setters to ape.
To be in rhythm with the summers, try something cool, something light, and, believe me, you will be alright. If in doubt, look rural and not to the West for your answers.

Summer time is the cotton time. Image Credits

Remember, summer time is the cotton time. Cotton clothing not only keeps you cool, but can be washed at home and are easier to handle, and more hygienic. Store away the georgettes, nylons, and silks for the cooler times. Also read Your clothes for summer.
Put your best foot forward with flat chappals, rather than the pencil heels or the sandals. Also, could you keep the jewellery away, to let the air circulate unhindered.
Diet: The heat, dust and sweat tend to slow down yoru digestive system a bit, and your tummy will be happier with a light diet. But, don’t forget the only person who understands your digestive system, best is you…. So, listen carefully to its calls and responds accordingly.
  • ·         A glass of buttermilk in the morning is preferable to a cup of tea or coffee, because the buttermilk aids digestion, and leaves you with a day-long feeling of coolness.
  • ·         At lunch time, try and settle for some salad and greens. Forget the 40 flavours of your favorite ice cream, and head for the melons and water-melons which will not only nourish you, but will also make up for the water loss through sweat.
  • ·         Remember a simple formula: Any food which undergoes putrefaction outside the body in warm temperature will undergo the same changes within the warm alimentary canal, and infest it with decomposed food… Result?.... Need I tell you?
So, would you still care for some chicken masala, spicey channa, naans and so on, on your dinner table? The choice is yours.
Personal hygeine: It is a lot more important and relevant during the summers. But, you really don’t have to go for the high priced fancy packs to keep you cool-n-crisp. In fact, your homemade recipes are not only cheap, easy to make, and happily, can do you no harm, which you always risk in terms of allergic reactions when you pick up the gift wrapped lotions and creams.
  • ·         A twist of orange peel in a bucket of water makes an excellent bath for summer, removing bad odours, adding freshness, and leaves your skin just tingling.
  • ·         For your tired feet, bathe them with water mixed with sodium bi-carbonate. And, for the perspiring and swollen feet, add a few grains of menthol. Also read Terrific soothers for your feet.
  • ·         Let your head feel the cool of the juice of a fresh lemon rubbed on your scalp before washing your hair and after oiling them. Do read Cool ways to beauty in summer.
Bathe twice a day in summer to feel as fresh as a daisy.

Create Coolness
  • ·         Openness and spaciousness in your dwelling, no matter how big or small, creates a feeling of coolness in the surroundings.

  • ·         Keep your doors and windows open during the mornings and evenings for cross ventilation.
  • ·         Flowers in your bedroom will make you feel good anytime fo the year.
  • ·         Store away unnecessary furniture and furnishings to promote a feel of spaciousness.
Overcrowding, decidedly is nauseating, and that includes your little scheming head too. Don’t overcrowd with too many thoughts, especially irrelevant ones.
Summer time is, really, to cool it, and take it easy. You really don’t have to rush things…. You always have the sun behind you.
Going by the gallop poll:
Going-to-the-hills is no more the in-thing, because everyone with an LTC is going there, making it ever so crowded.

For the “somebodys”, the summer-time is funtime. The highbrows don’t complain about the heat; you are supposed to like it. And, when you sweat it out, feel happy for the natural cleansing – just follow it up with a bath, and see how nice you feel. (Also read Bath - the inexpensive luxury of summer months)

Summertime, is, indeed, funtime, if you can get organized. So, get organized, and have a good time.
(Contributed by A. Singh)

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