Summer is… the sizzle of heat through the asphalt that fries your thoughts to a crisp, as the grey swirl of smoke from the exhaust in front addles your vision, the haze of the day swathes you in a cloak that clogs your sinuses and smothers your olfactory nerves, perhaps forever.
Summer is… the sound of your neighbour’s shower and her voice raised in old-world song, out of tune. Just the tinkle of her bangles and the trickling sound of water soothes your nerves and allows you to dwell on images of waterfalls in your smoky mind.
Summer is… the pile of watermelons piled Everest-high by the roadside, green crusted and red-bodied, waiting for the first, crunchy cooling bite. The juice dribbles down your chin and bathes your neck, just as rivulets of sweat snake their way down your back and turn your smock into a towel.
Summer is… the rattle of cooking vessels next door being scrubbed by their maid at the crack of dawn. The power cuts have eaten into the short, restless stretch of rest, and transformed the night into a nightmare.
Summer is… the whining of the baby in the cradle because the mosquitoes and flies will not let her sleep. As her tiny limbs flail and kick away her bottle, she has no inkling of the procession of summers that life has in store for her.
Summer is… when the madness of the city jars on your nerves, when every screech, every honk, every gust of hot air from the neighbourhood drain makes you want to tear your hair out by the handful. Or head for the hills for a solitary getaway.
Summer is… when you can watch your best friend’s freckles multiply by the passing hour, as sunscreens and sunblocks do little to deter the almighty sun’s determination to blot her flawless complexion.
Summer is… when coconut water spiked with lime and honey seems like nectar, a sip for celestial beings. That’s when tea seems too strong and coffee too heady, except when a Tom Collins or a Kahlua on the rocks tastes like a drink divine.
Summer is… when everybody on the street seems to be on a short fuse, ready to explode over cricket scores or examination mark-sheets or even the decibel level of your car stereo. What happened to the fun and games you all had together, you wonder, before the heat frazzled your heads.
Summer is… the call of the mountains, the gurgle of the river, the cawing of crows outside your window at daybreak. Why can’t the wretched birds sleep longer, you hiss in anger, while the air-conditioner rattles and rumbles its way through power fluctuations.
Summer is… the lapping of frothy waves at your toes, the gush of blue that smothers you waist-deep. It is the soothing cool of the sand beneath your soles, the shells that beckon you to scoop them up by the fistful. It is the ice-cream cone that drips down your elbow faster than you can lick it up ~ and is gone before you have had your fill.
Summer is… when shorts and skimpy T-shirts feel as if you have too many clothes on. And that first glorious bite of the ripe golden mango ~ luscious and juicy and sweet as a love poem.
Summer is… vacations and holiday homework and escape from the routine.
Summer is… my very least favourite season.
Would you beg to differ?