Burn and Freeze

Nikhil Bharadwaj

A vexing conundrum I bodily scent,
With the onset of every Indian summer.
Sometimes I stay mum, sometimes I vent,
This time on paper, as the heat has started to simmer.

The flesh dons the garb of a living thermostat,
As a hypothalamic quandary will unfold.
Testing times for the thermoregulatory diplomat,
A constant appeasing juggle between army cells of heat and cold.

The sun blazes down, May mornings burn.
I climb out of the sheets, with a trembling unease,
Fresh from my sleep, as the AC now gets it turn.
The room for a few minutes, remains still in the numbing freeze.

I desperately dash out of my room, to the balcony
To catch soothing glimpses of the fire ball.
No more than sixty seconds, lasts the harmony,
As the growing heat wave sends me packing down the hall.

Taking a brisk stroll down the road, the perambulist
In me, draped in boxer shorts and a cottoned vest,
With a conspicuous display of a sartorial minimalist,
Is ready to brave it all, a fact to which I attest.

The fiery master, rains down his unmerciful rays.
The bare skin exposed is nearly torched.
Drooping limbs and dropping pace
Desiccated lips and throat parched.

Pearly beads adorn the eyebrow, a rather quick repartee,
To the stroll planned for an hour and quarter,
Now abruptly cut short to a pathetic Forty.
Drenched in sweat I rush home, in desperate quest of water.
Switching on, yet again, the pitiable Air Conditioner.
I shatter its blissful slumber,
Sieving out its remonstrations to savor,
The cool hymnal air, now the poor machine's plaintive number.

Throughout the day the vicious cycle ensues,
My body still tolerates, an epitome of patience.
Unobligated to either side, remain my tissues,
Constantly adapting to thermal fluctuations.

Office cubicles shapeshift into vitreous igloos,
While the sun blazes outside, with no expected respite till night.
I lay eskimoe’d, the dozen degree variance gives me the blues.
I scarcely care if it’s Celsius or Fahrenheit.

For heaven sake turn down the bloody AC!
Shedding off my jacket, for a care so cutaneous,
I hasten out unbuttoned, sleeves rolled up, disgruntledly.
The vicissitudes of temperature are a shade too miscellaneous.

Going down for a meditative cup of Irani chai,
It feels like going through incineration.
Rolling my eyes heavenwards, I cease to be the samurai,
Beseeching acknowledgement of my heliolatrical mercy petition.

If only a cloud or two might surface
Out of nowhere and drop pluvious letters of love,
Then suddenly vanish without a trace,
I will still collect those drops and add it to my trove.

I morosely continue to sip the tea,
I revolve in a limbo,
Absorbing more than a fair quota of Vitamin D.
Heat and Cold, pair up as a deadly combo.

The body prepares for an unrelenting climatic opprobrium.
Numb freezing artificial winters and flagellations of solar fury,
Necessitate an unabated pursuit of thermal equilibrium.
Caught between extremities of the thermometer, surges forth the mercury.

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