Summer is almost here and yes, we hear you groaning too. The Indian summer is not a meteorological occurrence, it is an emotion.
And with the emotion, comes paraphernalia especially designed to deal with it. If you have grown up in a middle-class Indian home, these items have definitely been on your summer shopping list.
1. Dermi Cool
Summer doesn’t start in India unless Kailash Kher’s voice on TV declares that it is “mausam thande Dermi Cool ka”. And the frigid touch of this fairy dust on your parched flesh is as close to the big O as one gets!
2. Desert Coolers
An important summer ritual for the middle class Indian family is the cleaning, assembly, and connection of this lifesaving machine at an optimal location in the house. No AC can match the earthy-scented, cool breeze, along with a fine spray of water, emerging from the desert cooler
3. Speaking of scents…
This is another speciality that hits the markets only during the summers. My heart goes out to the resourceful person who invented cooler perfumes because no matter how much your mother nags you, no way in hell are you cleaning out the cooler tank unless your phone or something drops into it!
4. Kulfi makers
For decades, this contraption has fooled bored children and housewives into thinking that they can make ice lollies at home. Even so, we still buy a new one every few years, hoping that 2,378th time just might be lucky, right?
5. Rasna/ Rooh Afza
Rich kids who drank Tropicana, don’t talk to us. Summers are synonymous with the huge-ass bottle of Rooh Afza or Rasna concentrate (depending on what your mom likes) carefully preserved in the fridge.
Rooh Afza is not the only new entrant to the refrigerator. Bottles- ranging from your tiny Frooti can to a ginormous 2L Mirinda canister- along with a set of proper fridge bottles to bring out before guests, have to be filled and refilled every few hours. And God save you from your mother’s wrath if you happened to leave a single bottle half empty!
7. Ice trays
If I asked you where the ice trays are kept in August, you couldn’t answer me to save your life. But during summers, their importance escalates and keeping them stocked at all times is a sacred duty, entrusted only to the most sincere child in the family.
8. Emergency Lamps
Summer means exams. Sadly, it also means loadshedding. And while we had torches and lights that could last for years together, since the “Chinese” took over our market, buying a couple of emergency lamps is almost a yearly ritual now.
9. Hand fans
Proper bamboo fans, newspapers, booklets, any and every flat surface that can oscillate in a sweeping movement (powered by the tiny arms of all the family’s children of course) is employed for those torturous nights when the electricity takes a vacation too!
10. Earthen Pots
Want to know what manna from Heaven tastes like? Have a glassful of water that has been cooled in an earthen pot that almost every Indian home has from March to June.
What is summer for you? Let us know in the Comments!
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