Chitrai festival

Normally !

The ceiling fan has been going around far too many times than normal. And at greater speeds than normal.

‘The electricity bill will shoot through the roof’ says the missus, in a tone that has a higher decibel than normal.

Cans of juice disappear like discarded cricketers fading from the front page of the normal newspaper. Sweaty shirts and double handkerchiefs are more common than normal.

Public tolerance levels are above normal and yet it is quite normal to see normal folks losing their cool.

Normal festivals have normal water in colourful glasses. The business of selling packaged water is doing business that is above normal ! Water packets with exotic sounding brands like ‘Cancai‘.

Its the last stretch‘, said the normally quiet neighbour to his normally loud wife the other day in a normally dull lift. Received with a grunt of approval that brought back memories of a certain Monica Seles in a normal French Open.

Normally, these conversations are beyond my ears. Today, the sun has beaten me down solid and beads of sweat in every inch of visible and invisible skin was sample evidence. Today, there is my imagination runs riot. Which ‘last stretch’ could he be talking about ?

The half of the hindi movie that remains to be watched together ?

Perhaps its about some interesting yoga postures they are learning together.

Perhaps some therapy sessions. Perhaps some bet that they lost because of which they had to wear funny clothes for seven days or something !

Imagination brings about a wry smile ! At that precise moment, he looks at me and our eyes lock. He seems to read my mind. He rushes to state :

‘Its the last stretch Of summer you see’. 45 degrees in Nagpur. Phew”

Pausing before asking in a profound tone. “The rains arrive in June, don’t they ?!?”

Now, he is the bloke who has been living here for far too longer than i. I want to engage him in a conversation about his three air-conditioners that could be reported for noise pollution and he perhaps could get to be their brand ambassador for he never switched them off !

Let alone ask if has gone any centimeter in the direction of Nagpur. Even on a map ! I wonder if he thinks i have some secret hotline to the met department. [ The met department of the ‘it may rain or may not rain’ fame ].

I am still in my trance. And as his wife turns to give me a stare, with a ‘how dare you keep mum after my man has asked you a normal question’ i mumble..

“..well, normally !”