Facing a Scorcher of a Fry-Day

It’s going to be a scorcher in Sydney.  A sizzling day! Record breaking heat wave in November like never before.  Stay indoors. Take a break if you can afford to…blah blah blah!!’

Since yesterday, all the TV weather experts and radio-anchors have been warning us about how bad a day will this be – a sizzling Fry-day. That it’s going to fry us living beings with temperature soaring above 41 degrees. And sure enough, it’s an extreme given that it’s not even summer yet and the maximum till now has been around 23 degrees.

That way, Wednesday and Thursday too were rather warm, lethargic and humid.  In the morning as my son woke up I could see him listless, as if he had body-ache. I showered some wisdom on him, that if he sleeps topless like he does, and that too with a ceiling fan on at its full speed, he’s bound to get body-aches.

After saying this I was surprised at why I said that.  And then I remembered something said by someone long ago.

It was when I was younger – in school and later in college –  the good old days when we had fans or else those big four-footed coolers externally stuck to windows outside the rooms. There were some AC type gadgets for inside but I think they too were mini room-coolers. That’s because even though nowadays almost every middle-class Indian home has air-conditioners, these got popular only in the last ten to fifteen years.

So yes. Back in those days, even on a very hot Indian summer day, I was happy with a full-speed ceiling fan, but I generally avoided sleeping too close to the rhythmically noisy coolers that had a habit of occasionally sprinkling water droplets on us (they work by circulating water within the machine). These stray droplets did feel good but you know…a sleep disturber plus one may wake up with a runny nose.

Sometimes, on such hot and sultry days I used to share my room with someone who couldn’t even bear a medium speed fan.

My grandmother, who usually didn’t live with us, used to visit us off and on. My mother didn’t want her to sleep alone, so we youngsters were supposed to share a room with her. Given that my sister very essentially needed a watery cooler next to her bed or vice-versa, whereas I was content with a fan, usually I was the one to sleep in the same room as my grandma. In any case I was fond of talking to her, or at least I could sense she always needs someone to talk to and I was happy to do so.

Thus sharing the room, with lights off and a ceiling fan on at a very low speed, I would be half-asleep while listening to her as she told me about many of her everyday problems, her daily health issues. It was on one such day that she had mentioned about why she felt her aches and pains became worse if the fan is at its maximum number. I tried to agree with her while patiently bearing the discomfort of a less than desirable room temperature, for I knew it that I’ll fall asleep anyway for I had a busy school day ahead.

I don’t know exactly what she meant by her experience with hi-speed fans and there’s no way I can ever find out for she’s no more there to tell…but if there was any truth in her saying, shouldn’t it apply to current conditions as well?  But my son laughed it away.

Well, coming back to dealing with Sydney sizzler…it’s arrived and there’s information on ways to deal with it.

While we do that, this sudden onset of high temperatures certainly means it’s time to pack away the woolens and sweaters, to stack them on the top shelves of the closets.  And I suppose it’s also time to pack the beloved memories of dear departed souls; stack them away in mind’s closet till they force themselves out, resurface to touch my life like this heat-wave and catch me unaware. Like they always do.

Meanwhile, here’s some sunny thinking about the worst of heat waves…

Promise me son not to do the things I’ve done…

The Daily Prompt:  Well, I Never…
“Tell us about something you’ve done that you would advise a friend never to do.”

~~~

That way I have a list of things that I’ve done that I would advise a friend or a relative never to do.

One can give suggestions but most people learn from experience. What works for one person may not work for the other. This is especially true about career, love and relationship issues. Moreover, what is wrong for me may not be wrong in the eyes of others.

Many years ago I didn’t want to migrate out of my birth country. Not just because of love for India, as I was born and brought up there and I had some duty towards that developing country. Not also because I do not love Australia…a truly wonderful country with genuine unpretentious people. But mainly because I don’t like divided loyalties.

I had other apprehensions too. A migrant’s future generations become mixed souls, with no true belonging whatsoever. Either they become perpetually confused, being sandwiched between two cultures, or else, as I have recently observed in some migrants from my own family, they start taking extreme pride only in their new found identity of being an Australian, as if they never even had a different birth country ever. This could be due to pressure to conform.

But anytime I have advised others not to migrate, they did not listen. They come here, they proudly take Australian citizenship within two years while continuing to (pretend as if they) love their home countries. Thus they have no qualms about divided loyalties or confused identities; qualms that I had. Probably I was and still am wrong, as this is the trend of the day, the essential realities of a globalized world.

Therefore, take advice from others, follow it if it sounds genuine, esp. if this advice comes from a wise and trustworthy person. But also listen to your own heart and brain. Act according to the demands of time, situation and environment.

Listen to ‘Coward of the County’ by Kenny Rogers:

His dad asked him:
   “Promise me, son, not to do the things I’ve done
   Walk away from trouble if you can
   It won’t mean you’re weak if you turn the other cheek
   I hope you’re old enough to understand
   Son, you don’t have to fight to be a man”

But his own experiences taught him otherwise…till finally he said:
   “I promised you, Dad, not to do the things you’ve done
   I walk away from trouble when I can
   Now please don’t think I’m weak, I didn’t turn the other cheek
   And Papa, I should hope you understand
   Sometimes you gotta fight when you’re a man”

~~~

Kenny Roger’s another song ‘The Gambler‘ also also has good lyrics:

Our life has many situations requiring gambling and risk-taking. These suggestions are good.

If you’re gonna play the game, boy
You gotta learn to play it right

You’ve got to know when to hold them
Know when to fold them
Know when to walk away
And know when to run.
You never count your money
When you’re sitting at the table
There’ll be time enough for counting
When the dealing’s done

Every gambler knows
That the secret to surviving
Is knowing what to throw away
And knowing what to keep.
‘Cause every hand’s a winner
And every hand’s a loser
And the best that you can hope for is to die
In your sleep”