“What dreadful hot weather we have! It keeps me in a continual state of inelegance”
Why does the weather play such an important part in one’s lives? I remember, when I lived in Singapore, the ‘air-conditioned nation’, you are hardly ever really physically affected by the weather – all offices and most homes have air-conditioning, most walkways are covered so you can get by without getting too drenched in the rain and in most malls, you cant even see the outside world so you wouldn’t even know what the weather is like. And yet, my moods used to be affected to some extent by the vagaries of the weather.
The first spell of monsoon in Kerala always used to bring a sense of hope to me. The smell of fresh mud is something that one associates with new life and fresh beginnings. But then that early drizzle gives way to never ending downpour and I would begin to feel blue – maybe it was just the annoyance of sitting in a crowded classroom in drenched skirts or perhaps the inconvenience of carrying an umbrella around, but except for the first drizzle, the rain was a sure depressant for me.
Why all this weather talk all of a sudden, you might wonder. The weather in DÃ¼sseldorf has changed! And all of a sudden. The spring (or is it summer?) is definitely here. From 10 degrees on Saturday, we went to 30 degrees on Sunday! I had to strip off my jacket and roll up my jeans and keep licking at my icecream to feel sane. Now that might seem surprising coming from someone who claims to miss the tropics, but truth is that I had gotten used to the chills and I am gonna need some reverse adjustments and I might be forgiven for being taken aback by such a sudden change. Plus, Germany is definitely not equipped for hot weather. I am told that one needs to get special permission to install airconditioners, and for that you have to prove a whole lot of things, including that the air conditioner wont mar the beauty of the apartment building! I am grateful for the little fan that I sneaked into my shipment from Singapore, more for sentimental reasons than practical ones – it sure is gonna be a life saver if this weather continues.
I often wonder why the weather affects people in different ways. Whenever there is a shower outside, I say it is a great time to be snuggled in bed, while my German colleague would invariably retort that it is a great day to be indoors and working! At first, I attributed it to his industrious attitude, but that’s not the case – on really sunny days, I feel cheerful and am extra productive at work, while he gets all jittery and jumpy and would like to go out and enjoy the sunshine.
After all these technological innovations and advancements, man is still affected to a large extent by nature. As much as he likes to live a modular life, he cannot be insulated from the nature and her whims and fancies.