The month: December. The dress: full-sleeved shirt with a thick full-sleeved jersey with the front zippered up to the neck. Or maybe a cardigan, or a jacket. Nothing odd about that, you would say, I’m sure. After all, it’s pretty much the winter dress code.
But certainly not on a day when the maximum temperature touched a hefty 35.2 degrees celsius, in a city perennially surrounded by sea! But trust the average denizen of this city to react to the slightest dip in temperature with a flurry, desperate to celebrate the onset of winter, if at all it can be called that in this part of the country.
It wasn’t just about this man-boy dressed like a woolly mammoth in the first-class train compartment in which we were commuting – starved of any noticeable seasonal differences, for a Mumbaikar, anything slightly away from the ordinary is reason enough to wear those jackets, overalls, etc etc. And the ordinary is either hot and humid, or hot and humid, thanks to the nearly nine months of rains that lash this city.
I though sometimes wonder if the same Mumbaikar were to be transported to Delhi, or maybe even further up north, say Amritsar, during these winter months, would he or she freeze to death? I remember reading, some summers ago, about how a heat wave in Europe proved fatal, claiming several lives. Now, it is not my case to indulge in dark humour, but the temperatures mentioned in those reports (unless they were typos) were in their late 30s – averaging perhaps 37 or 38 degrees celsius! Thank goodness the continent’s residents were not in Delhi, where we ‘fry’ at a healthy 45 degrees celsius plus every summer!
But I guess everyone’s entitled to an excuse to ‘celebrate’ and if a degree or two drop from the normal summer-time temperatures can help bring out your finery, well then, who’s to complain! They can dress up, or down (not unwelcome either!) as they please – amusing as it might be to some. But then, one man’s d(r)es(s)peration can be another’s humorous celebration!
And yes, this post is short, just like the season!