Hot-world Woes

From my Facebook, the existential crises of living at the tropics:

It was very hot so we decided to put a roof up on the roof. By the time the men came to fix it, the monsoon had arrived. Today it is cloudy. the men are painting the iron rods. A man stood on the water pipe and broke it. All the water flowed out. I washed the rice with chilled water from the fridge. Now i am hoping that it will not rain on the freshly painted iron rods. The roof is not yet up. It will be up just in time for the rains. I am hoping it survives till next summer.

We had the same problem ourselves two years back, when my parents decided to sneakily circumvent my protests by installing an AC in my room while I was far, far away. The AC was bought towards the end of June. My parents then went on a five-day holiday. I came home at the beginning of August.

And found the AC, in its box, sulking guiltity by my bed.

Welcome back to India, it seemed to say. Oh, my motherland. How I love the whims of your labour-pool. (I do, actually. It lends a touch of the sobering ridiculous to our self-absorbed comfort-chasing sprinting about).



  1. Domestic crises are not charming at all, Rimi. They make one realize how utterly dependent one is on various technologies, facilities and human beings of varying temperaments and efficiencies for the smooth running of ones life:(

      • I can well imagine, Manjari. I had a voltage surge in early June, had to travel soon after, spent days dealing with automated telephonic voices and uncooperative eejits. Finally got the last AC repaired today. I hope my home/appliance repair debts are paid for a while.

    • Dipali, too true! The days Shobhadi doesn’t come unannounced is crisis enough for us, never mind broken stuff. But I love the way Barney talks about her trouble. It adds a sheen of the poetic on the mundane.

      Besides, once you’re over the mess, some crises take on rather a mellow, nostalgic light. You remember how everyone chipped in, how you improvised, how the whole family had to rough it out and make do. All in all, you feel rather clever and resourceful and competent for coming through it unscratched 🙂

      • You speak of bygone times, Rimi, when there were enough people around to chip in and be resourceful. Two fridgeless nights were quite awful, thank you, especially as the neighbour on my floor was missing, so stuff had to be stashed in a freezer on another floor. Lali’s dad sounds like a fabulous resource to have, bless him!

  2. All my domestic crises(of the non-fight-wth-the-husband kind) get sorted by my 78 year old father- he’s the plumber, electrician, the one who goes and gets some affidavit signed by someone near Alipore court so I can book my LPG cylinders again, the one who sorts out my fridge when the free in the frost-free bit doesn’t work.

    • Your father sounds like a total superman. What is it about the earlier generations that they can get about more, be more productive, whine less, and — speaking strictly of the people I know — be more socially moderate and open-minded?

  3. As I was telling somebody the other day, I secretly decided to marry Soubhik Niyogy the day he fixed my cassette player. He’s a lazy bum but he’s a lazy bum who can do stuff around the house when he needs to. We have frequent electricity problems here and he does something mysterious around the mains and voila, Sunny’s online again.

    • Sunayana, I don’t know you but love your wonderful adoration of your man. I married the one I did because he read books – and for some foolish reason that meant a lot to me at that time. Little did I know that all the Jack London and Conan Doyle’s of the world do not a fuse repair. AND I have the said book-collection which I am left to dust, because guess what, I have a huge mental block about selling books.

      • Lali, I’d recommend a large dose of Sunny and Vicky to everybody with a sense of humour and a predilection for affection. They are adorable. Too bad Vicky’s off the FB platform now, or you’d have loved their online spats and insult-trading.

      • Lali, now that sounds familiar. Mine introduced me to Damon Runyon and noir fiction. And it is I who dusts our combined library AND his model car collection.

        Priyanka, stop making us sound like a circus act!

  4. I loved Lali’s comment. Echoes my feelings when I am in Calcutta. I can’t even begin to describe my ordeals in Delhi battling the electrician bhaiya to cablewallah on my own. But then there is a certain bit of charm to it as well. 🙂

    • Same here. The tellers and managers at my bank all know “Uncle” or “Kaku”, and the first time I landed there after a year’s hiatus, they completly cold-shouldered me. They’d clean forgotten my face.


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