Fruity popsicles in sweaty hands and breezy camisoles with drenched pants. Summer brings with it many things, good and bad, other than the harsh sun, that is. But, most importantly it brings with it what I like to call the ‘summer squabbles’. They fill up many homes, unknowingly. How do they look like?
Well, there’s this fan that the house help switches off to sweep (no, brooms aren’t old new, they continue to exist in the age of vacuum cleaners) the floor. And when done, conveniently leaves the room without turning it (back) on! It perhaps starts from there. Plus, the fans have knobs to regulate speed, which requires the existence of a sibling (or the youngest member in the family), whose primarily unsaid role in the home is to attend to situations like these. For after all, in the next few days, we’d be all caught up between varied summer moods — extremely hot, cool, and manageable heat — and the fan speed would have to respond to the need of the hour. Also, someone needs to ensure that the ice cube trays in the refrigerator are never empty. I’ve always believed that siblings exist for reasons like these. This is their calling, bigger purpose in life.
Of course, back in the day, the frivolous fights extended to the task of filling up water in a desert cooler. It was one task, I, as a child, detested the most. It required patience and attentiveness. As for the elders, it was their job to remember the ‘service’ dates for the good ol’ window air-conditioners. I am talking of days and homes when central air-conditioning and split air-conditioners had not yet arrived. I’m a big fan of the TV remote control fights, and it brings me pleasure to watch people banter over the AC remotes as well.
In some home, a few other summer rules and roles continue to exist — of serving water to thirsty guests, of making lemonade during summer breaks, and fetching a newspaper or magazine (to fan ourselves) in case of a power cut. Add to the melodrama — enter mums, who even before you sip a glass of chilled cola or take a bite of the blueberry ice cream scoop know that you’re going to catch a cold. How many of you grew up with such medical warnings? I, for one, did.
Talk today, my husband and I can never agree upon on the temperature the air-conditioning should be set at. Additionally, we fluctuate between ‘Auto’ and ‘Low’ leaving one of us sweating or sleeping with two sheets as protection from the cold. Actually, the scene at the workplace is almost similar. No two colleagues, especially male and female, can agree on the prevalent weather conditions in the office.
I’m sure the scenes in your homes resemble mine. As for summer, we can’t avoid it, but I guess I may be able to face it better if I could have fun at its expense, with the people I share my home and workspace with.