Tuesday, May 10, 2016

IS IT TOO HOT OUT THERE?





Pic.: Azriel D'Souza

I do not really understand what this Global Warming is all about. Yes, I know the more and more we destroy trees to build our cities and townships, the more and more we build factories to produce the ‘stuff’ we need… the more and more our vehicles run on streets… the more and more we encroach upon the rivers, deserts, seas and hills… the more and more goes up our greed, the more and more we abuse Nature… and, more and more we invite her wrath!

Well, this Post is not about the Global Warming or Nature’s wrath…

A few days ago, I called up my college buddy, Joe, who lives with his family in our hometown, Mangalore. “It must be extremely hot in Mangalore, now?” I casually remarked during our conversation. Joe was amused… “Come on Gerry,” Joe disagreed, “It’s extremely hot for our kids… not for us.”

Joe did not have to say anything more to elaborate on his observation…

We both grew up almost in identical households… Hand-to-mouth existence… Parents were illiterate… Several siblings to grow up with… Eternally cash-starved… No electricity at home… No toilets… No money to travel even in buses, leave alone auto-rickshaws… Even clothes used to be, often, donated or second-hand, the ones used by our Bombay cousins…

But, up there in the sky, the Sun who burned was the same Sun we see today… The heat was same… the summers were same… We exposed our bodies to the Sun and sweated in buckets… We dealt with that nasty prickly heat through those blunt sickles or combs… and, we jumped in the village ponds, just how buffaloes did!

Now you know why my friend, Joe, remarked, “Come on Gerry… It’s extremely hot out there for our kids… not for us.”

Today, Joe lives in a big mansion… each room has an air-conditioner… His children – and now his grandchildren too – who have been living and travelling in comforts… would never know what it was like… Ditto in my case… Will my son ever know what it was like?

So, Joe was reminding me, not to forget the kind of heat rash we bore on our bodies, the Sun who burned over our heads… Yes, how can we say, now - “It is extremely hot out there?”

What has happened, over all these years, is this: In the process of making our lives comfortable to live by – at least for our children and grandchildren – we have lost the capacity to bear that sweat and prickly heat… We have lost our toughness… and, we have learnt to blame the Sun who faithfully does his job up there, everyday…

Is it too hot out there?

Look, the Sun is laughing, up there!!!!!

GERALD D’CUNHA

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