It was a summery afternoon. I felt like watermelon dessert in vanilla ice cream. The kind that comes into vogue every time the season changes. Summer dictates a lot in our lives and you know how much I detest her for that. Anyway, I genuinely craved for the dessert. How neatly, 'twas served on a bowl held up on a tripod stand, as if it were the godamn chemistry lab. The watermelon cubes, de-seeded and mounted upon by three scoops of vanilla ice cream. Very geometrically symmetrical. It was perfect for the onset of summer. And that only. Later months of May and June, nothing, absolutely nothing helped.
There was no remedy for summer, then. The cranky air cooler had a history of mood swings. It worked if it felt like. No lassi, no sugarcane juice would stand by you. The air was hot enough to give you blisters. We sat for hours inside the ATM. That was the only placed that was air conditioned. Until it too gave up one day.
Summers gave way to very typical blossomings though. The smell of raw mangoes and the relentless nostalgia of first love, sometimes. I don't remember if I fell in love in summer. Now memories don't work that way, do they? I feel a mild loss when I look back. A mild one, yes.
The mountains would turn grey from all the dried grass and leaves. And catch fire. It was a scary thing, the way those forest fires looked at night, up from the roof. Where I sometimes spent hours trying to forget the stifling heat in the house. As if ghosts had come back to life, or as if the fires would not be quenched and would spread to the plains and burn everything with them.
But you, in addition to getting me that glorious watermelon dessert, got me a dozen other consolations. Nothing bad was going to ever happen. You even took me boating, to take summer off my mind. To the park at one end of the city that had a lake. And that lake had huge trees across its edge where bats lived, probably. And when you paddled too close to the edges, a swarm of bats would swoop right over your head.
How I clutched on to the sleeves of your shirt then. I panicked and couldn't find your wrist in the dark. And you told me that bats were blind. And that they can't even see me. How reassuring was that.