Monday, April 21, 2008

There, there. It'll be all better soon.


Do you know what Bangalore's biggest problem is? It's the weather. We're spoilt brats. If the thermometer registers a 5 day blip of 2 degrees above normal, we think we're dying. When it rains for 45 minutes instead of 30, we go to pieces over it. When the winter's nice and chill, we cringe at the thought of how hot the summer could be. And then there are those memory trips that everybody goes on in April, the moment the mercury hits 35 degrees for 2 hours: "Nimgenri gothu Bengloor chali bagge! 20 varsha hinde Malleswaradal Shivrathri maLege badlu manju bilthaa ithu gothaa?" ("Whaat all you maadran peepals know I say. 20 years ago, the dosa batter at CTR would freeze saalid before hitting the tava even in midsummer. You fallow?") Has our weather really suffered such a dramatic change over the past 50 years or so?

Thankfully, it hasn't. We have.

Does anybody know which year Bangalore recorded its highest temperature (39 deg)? It was in 1931! While the met department agrees it was probably a freak occurrence, it also says that Bangalore's average summer temperatures have only gone up by a degree or so in the past 30 years. They seem unsure that it's a long lasting phenomenon, or if it is cause for real concern. But while the global picture is definitely cause for worry, can one measly degree cause this kind of mass weather hysteria among Bangaloreans today? I'm sure there's more to it. Here are my theories:

(e) Bangaloreans are incredibly paranoid about the weather. While we love bragging about it and smirking down at the sweltering plains below us, we're also the first to panic when it isn't significantly cooler than the rest of India at any given point of time. We need to be a good 8 degrees below Chennai, for example, to feel completely satisfied. Even the slightest rise in temperature makes us worry about losing our USP, and we hate that.
(n) Bangalore weather is always on the edge. Our clockwork weather pattern is worrisome. The balance between heat and rain is so delicate that we're convinced its going to go awry some day. If it doesn't rain and bring the mercury down exactly when it should, we immediately assume that the end has finally come, and run around in circles, moaning.
(o) We live in matchboxes that don't breathe naturally. The simple beat-the-heat measures like high roofs, red oxide floors, large verandahs and ventillators that our older buildings used, were excellent temperature control mechanisms.
(u) With modern conveniences at our disposal, we are willing to tolerate fewer and fewer weather eccentricities. We'd rather turn on our airconditioners at full blast, or flock into malls and theatres the moment we feel even slightly uncomfortable. We'd probably not feel this bad if we allowed our bodies to adjust to temperature changes gradually like the previous generation did, instead of confusing them by plunging in and out of supercooled zones every few hours.
(g) There's too much weather information going around. Heat related anxiety is particularly prevalent in Bangalore. We worry ourselves sick after reading the weather columns in the papers and watching the rest of the country swelter on tv, instead of facing our relatively milder summers calmly.

But since we are such a bunch of moaners, here are some simple tricks to keep cool for the next few days until the rains come:

(h) Don't forget to drink as much water as you can. Try and get used to drinking room temperature water, to help acclimatize your body to the ambient temperature.
(a) If you live on the top floor, sprinkle a bucket of water on your roof in the mornings and evenings. Makes a dramatic difference.
(l) Wear cotton. We are used to dressing up in Bangalore, because the weather normally allows us to. But for now, put your fancy numbers away. People are too exhausted to notice anyway.
(r) When you wash your face, wet the back of your neck, your ears and your inner arms. Helps you cool down dramatically.
(e) Cut out the sunlight with curtains or chiks (roll-down blinds) during the day. You could wet them too, if your home is sufficiently ventillated. Remember to roll them up at night though, or your rooms will get incredibly stuffy.
(a) Eat simple food. Rice, salads, juices, greens, yoghurt, fruits - you know, that sort of thing.
(d) Look around you and see where you can plant trees. Select spots that are likely to remain undisturbed for the next 30 years. You will never regret the small effort you took now, 10 years later. If you are not upto the task, call these people. They will do it for free.
(y) And most importantly, relax. It isn't so bad. Yet. Old Bangytown's clockwork rain usually kicks around the end of April and brings things back to normal. Until then, drink majjige and stay cool, but also think about what you can do to keep it in good ticking order.

49 comments:

Which Mainu? What Crossu? said...

Benglurean:

May: It's so hot. I think I will take this week off from work and chill.

Dec: It's so cold, I think I will take this week off from work and chill.

Anonymous said...

direct inspiration from indigo maarning shows,a?? nice nice..

didn't realise many people knew about the high ceiling and red oxide flooring... nice to know

Karan said...

Bugger, do you know there is an increase in temperature because of all the construction going on?

It seems tat whenever water is added to cement/concrete to set it dissipates a lot of heat. The dust adds to the heat on top of all this.

Seriously, can you drive past three km without finding a construction site?

- Karan.

PS: My present word verification word is: bondq

Poojitha said...

I would suggest bloreans to come to chennai just for a couple of days... that would shut them up.. :P

Anonymous said...

very true.. we need to chill a bit more and also - you forgot to add - no air conditioning!
it's bad enough at work... we don't need them at home!

--

mem said...

hogalo! its so bledy hot...
evaga manne/ office remodelling and all i cant do.

so hot!!

im goign to drink my majjige
and go write a post properly outraged at the heat! this is bangalore. it cant be so hot. i want my money back

Scribbler said...

Hahahaha! Well, as somebody new to Bangalore, who listened for years to everyone saying that it was so much cooler than any other place and had such incredible weather, I have to say it--you're right, the reason Bangaloreans get so paranoid about it being hot is because they pride themselves on having good weather right through the year. Mind you, there are also relative newbies to Bangalore who have all but waved swords at me for saying that bangalore doesn't have the kind of temperate climate everyone says it does!

Bikerdude said...

whichmaincross: haha good one! yeah we're incorrigible :)

anonymous: inspiration andre? gottaglilla. Well all of us are fairly old school that way- our grandparents homes had red oxide floors. I had red oxide tiles put in my new apartment too- they are awesome. OK winteralli solpa too cold but I like that.

karan: The point I was trying to make is- there is no real increase in physical temperature (acc to the met dept, its only 2 deg). Its obviously our psyches that are overreacting. All this cement heat and all that is chumma apparently.

poojitha: heh good plan. And seriously Bloreans could use some shutting up when it comes to the weather.

anon: right said, fred!

mem: Ayyo saak nilsamma :) Sumne bai bai badkolak badlu (a) (b) (c) maadi anth suggestion kotre adhu kelolla jana. :p Just kidding, tension tagobedi, yella sari hoguthe :)

Scribbler: Uyyo, never criticize the weather when a Bangalorean is around. You will get killed and buried thrice over! It's our only trump card, remember!

maami said...

Ah, the weather. And at one time, we accused the Englishman of obsessing over the weather. Yeah,so let's chill.
P.S:Dear DD, but you can't talk about the weather. That's what maamis do. We want to sit by you and listen in to the last party, that old flame, this pet squeeze, the new fad,a recent blossom, a new song, a sudden dream, and all those little stories from you.

??! said...

Ok...why are all your points in random alphabetical order?

Diviya said...

"high roofs, red oxide floors, large verandahs and ventillators" ...

... I'm recovering from a bout of nostalgia. And I miss the sparrows that used to nest in the ventilator.

Prats said...

<"Thotti mane marthe bitte"/>???
I rememebr the same ole dialogues being belted out, and suddenly realise i've been doing the beltings too...full ancient types agbitvi, che...
But your idea of majjige full great pa....paanakha also recommended...adhe, karbhooja small pieces nalli cut maadi haaki :)...
and drink water kept in earthern pots.."hooji", remember anyone????
natural fridge

mem said...

oho yelru yeshtu productive and non complaining type idhare.

I like that karan dude. full correctu. cement construction all that. yeshtu scientifica explain madidhane.

working in one concrete building in whitefield, glass walls alla idhe but no ac.
(anyway i dont like ac so thats a plus)

a) b) c) points first class re but....its so hot!!!
and i love to obsess about the weather. bangalore 40 degrees it seems! chennai bari 39. ha!

Bikerdude said...

??!! Because they are random points ma :)

diviya: gone, gone, gone are the sparrows :( And by the way , red oxide floors are the cheapest to lay, so get some for your home, they are awesome.

prats: slurp slurp. Ramanavami ge nam maneyalli madidru. Haenji? Uska naam hooji hai, ji? :)

mem: Wopeless appa neevu :) Heh. Btw thaavu tamilaa? Full only the kannada you have typed off :)

Prats said...

Aiyya...what haenji hoonji...naavu lol....I was talking of the hooji ( the maDke) ...earthen pot...

I love Lucy said...

Sikkapatte nostalgia inducing postu.
Aiyoo pedda,red oxide == poor man's mane antha gothilla?Saaftware engineers thumbiro oralli you are going and telling put red oxide... dhoddu faux pas ri adhu.

Pri said...

oho should wear half wet cotton batte and sit on red floor drinking majjige it seems. nonsense.

p.s. i liked the red floors but they made my feet pink.

Pri said...

yuver cartoon is very beauty today saar. also random observation - all yuver carton peoples are having same to same nose as you. correkt no?

kavitha said...

fun one as usual!lol @crowdsu-giwdsu.

won request saaar-pliss to be translating the kannad bits on the comments section pa. we also to be enjoying no?

Empress said...

You forgot to mention carrying of black pointed umbrellas to beat the heat. My thaatha used to have one black umbrella for summer and one red and yellow umbrella for winter.

plush said...

red-oxide floors n majjige..yaya...totally agree saar...but en maadodhu...swalpa avaga ivaga haage crib maadona antha....its not like we crib ovr everything anyway...alwa...

NK said...

Actually I loved the way you ordered your points to spell 'enough already'!!! Quite innovative ........

Bikerdude said...

prats: Gothaithu- was just pulling leggu.

i love lucy: I think the kobbu (arrogance) ridden software crowd (self included) can do with a little bit of old world common sense for a change.

pri: Aan then what! of course you should do all the above. And red oxide floor will make leg pink only for some 2 months. After that full lovely it will be (until it cracks ie). Aa thank you thank you reg cartoon. And aye whatttt naaansense, I have better nose ok? ok.

kavitha: thanks - and le task to translate ma, but will try nevertheless.

empress: Haan that is little bit 60s no? I dont know many people who carry umbrellas in the sun these days. Sensible idea though.

plush: (translation): "red-oxide floors n buttermilk..yaya...totally agree saar...but what to do...little bit now and then like that only crib we can do....its not like we crib ovr everything anyway...is it not?"
Npow and then crib is correct, but full 100% cribbers we must beat nicely and put in thotti (dustbin) is it not?

nk: Oh sawaa? Yes after ??!!! remarked, I chaka chaka went and changed it off.

And all you beauteous peoples : If posssible (and convenient), kindly to be translating comments into Engliss for benefit of non Kannada/Tamil/Telugu/Hindi speakers as the case maybe. Thanks muchly.

RustyNeurons said...

this post shook me off balance! A true blue bangalorean would never admit he/she is paranoid when it comes to b'lore weather!
Right now, I cooling off with majjige but apparently it takes more than majjige and bella to manage the heat here :(

Bikerdude said...

maami: please to remember im rapidly approaching mamocity myself :P So as the years roll on, talk of the weather and other sundy stuff shall only increase :(

rusty: yes no? we will never admit it! Long live majjige (buttermilk)

vasukilm said...

My mom waters the roof.i thought it was crazy.
"Its because of the construction work!! ".
lol, and someone said Bush is all cribs about global warming.

mem said...

its raining raining!!

howdu tamilu. kannada not speaking too well. comments indha ne obvious a?

shub said...

loved the post :) One of your best, in my opinion.
so much praise and I get word verification : xeqnbxgr? Bah!

an said...

bikerdude: i am going to boycott this site until you impose and implement rule that all non engliss words must have transalations. solpa.

anoushka taraporevala said...

bikerdude: above was moi.

Never Mind!! said...

The weather hysteria is not limited to Bengaluru. Here in US, a few warm days has reinforced everyone's belief in global warming and now all I hear is about how we are going to die!

Great tips to keep your coll this summer. My first time here, cool blog!!

Anonymous said...

Yeno huccha? Red oxide aa? Now s/w engg putting only granite floorsu. Ashtu gottilva?
Palm Meadows swimming pool nalli hogbittu cool off aag beku. Matthe bar hathra swim madi ondu chilled beer kudibeku. aavagle neenu nijavada gandsu, I mean Engineeru.he he
Can I pleasee sing "Hegide nam desha, Hegide Karnataka" song now?

narendra shenoy said...

That "humbly request to do the needful and oblige" cracked me up! The other one is "Thanking you in anticipation. It was a different age. Things were DEFINITELY cooler back then.

The cartoon deserves to be in the Louvre!

10yearslate said...

Neev-ellaar bhaaL naagreek adheer bid-ree-pa!

(You all too much civilised only, leave-it-father!)

Nummooraag bisil biddhaag school gate-baagla mundh barthiddh nod-ree baraf-gaadi-yaava, avanige 10 paisa kottu baraf thogond thindhra howdh!

(Our town when sun falling, school gate-gate front coming see, shaved ice man, to him 10 paise giving and buying shaved-ice-cone and eating, then yes)

Bikerdude said...

Its raining!!!!!!! Bangalore clockwork weather to the rescue again!!!! And not a moment too soon, phew!

Bikerdude said...

vasukilm: Ah! Mummy knows best eh? ;)

mem: YEAAAAHHHH!!!!! Long live Benglur maLe (rain). Ala re paus ala re only. Yes solpa obvious, but my kan aint so hot anyways, so its all good :)


shub: Thanks :) And sorry about word verification ma. The blog seems to be attractinga lot of these automatic spam comments that the word verification filters out.

an(oushka): Arara mari dikri, don't do such things. I will try and translate as much as possible. Occasional lapses pls excuse.

never mind: Glad (or should I be worried) its a global phenomenon. Thanks for stopping by :)

anonymous: Hehehe good one. What no neer majjige and bassaaru on a summer evening? Whaaaaaaat I say. Nammantha 2-3 huchcharu benglurig bekappa. Illandre naav uddara agolla. Allveyyy?
(Sorry anoushka, untranslateable)

narendra shenoy: I humbly blush and thank you kindly for the aforementioned. I now request you to kindly advance me the sum of Rupees 18 and annas 5 only for conducting the maturement ceremony of my sister cum mother in law's grand daughter Hunsur Yeggammal.

10yearslate: gaaaahahahah. First prize to you for the best translation of Hubli kannada in known history :) "10 paise giving and buying shaved-ice-cone and eating, then yes" cracked me up completely.

Ri sahebra, sumke crickettu gickettu anth bariyak badla, inthaddenadru baredre esht chendagiruth kanri (chitranna village bhashe, sorry)
(Sir, lord and master, instead of writing cricket-gicket in blog, like this something writing means how lovely it will be dear sir.")

Serious Lounger said...

hmmm good post - however, apparently this year has been rather hot in india (other parts of india atleast).. and i blame the latent feeling of hotness (not temperature) in the city to loss of green cover - as an example there is a road adjoining CV Raman Institue in RMV extension - is cool even when you feel like it is 45 deg C at mekeri circle.. all because of the green cover.. that is what we are losing.. so while the ambient temperature at the observatories wouldnt have risen significant, the surface temperatures of the exposed part of the city have significantly.. and the lack of green cover and lake cover also partially contributes to the lack of convective rainfall after a day or two of high temperatures..

desigirl said...

We love bragging about it and smirking down at the sweltering plains below us.

Wiser words have never been spoken, errrr, written! Ooh and I love your e.n.o.u.g.h. a.l.r.e.a.d.y!

padmaja said...

If anyone's complaining about the weather in Bagnalore, send them to my sweltering Chennai city!
What did you say? Its raining out there? Gr..... Lucky pigs!!!

anoushka taraporevala said...

biker dude: i am mollified, but only slightly. by the thought of rain. we are parched in mumbai. need aircon even at nine in the morning. and your wheeeee sounds at the rain in yr city only makes things parch-er. am smelling wet earth, thinking of frogs croaking by the lake, seeing earthworms in my heat induced stupor. but only to wake up to 38 pushing 40 degrees. the alphonsoes and lime water make up, but only slightly. yes, we are eating mangoes, nyah nyah nyah.

plush said...

ok..ok..from now on me also translatingu...yaya...we can put them in totti n all..but for now..let ua aall sing..."here comes the rain again..tin tintin"...

Usha said...

aiyo pa, ella madi nodde. Bislu thadkolakaagalvalree. Male yavaga baruthe? enanu madree...

chronicworrier said...

Pls explain what bella means (RustyN needs more than bella to cool down)? Does the Tamizh meaning translate to Kannada as well??

Bikerdude said...

serious lounger: You have some very valid points there. The huge temperature differences between shade and direct sun are particularly prominent in Bangalore, and I hear because of the rarified atmosphere. Increasing our green cover/shade is the only way to go. And I know that cool CV Raman instt lane all too well :)

desigirl: Heh thanks ma - u noticed aa? :)

padmaja: You put of kann. rain's father also is not coming now :( Full waiting we are.

anoushka: You also putt off evil eye. Do achu michu immediately, we need our rain otherwise whats the use of Bangalore I say, is it not? And humph, in answer to your slurpy alfonsos, we are stuck with the shocking red but turpentiney sendhuras for now. Just you wait till the badamis and raspuris pour in and we'll be doing the nyah nyahing, humph :)

plush: haadamma joragi (sing mother, loudly) devrella kelli (godsandall let them listen)

usha: Fan hakkond thapassu madamma, nangu sakaythu (fan putting and penance doing mother, for me also enough has happened)

chronicworrier: bella = jaggery. Same-ish as tamil (vellam)

narendra shenoy said...

Hahahahaha ".....maturement ceremony of my sister cum mother in law's grand daughter Hunsur Yeggammal" You are the maddest in all world, saar.

Schmetterling said...

:-)

Ps said...

Prats sent me..
And now I miss Bengalooru more than anything :(
Used to live there until two years ago.
Lucky Prats.
Lucky You.

VAN said...

Whatte perceptive and entertaining piece I say! Jeshtt I louuve the way you write. Put new poshtt after Nilgiris no?

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