Indian Summers

Mereshah Merybal

“April is the cruellest month”,
Said Eliot, and pleasantly unaware,
I never thought to question him,
For April, to me, is summer.
Not the summer
I idolised for years,
Watching white people on screen
Going to beaches, sun tanning,
And skinny dipping.
The backyard barbecues, picnics, pools,
Lake houses, camps, and cocktails
Were all simply mirages
Of colonial hangover,
Yet, I stayed pleasantly unaware.
Summer is the cruellest season
As lands run dry,
Emotions run amok
And people run around
For food and water.
We perspire for no reward.
All pain, no gain.
The hot winds and heat strokes,
Dehydration, parched tongues,
Burning micturition, heat boils,
And mosquitoes.
With mosquitoes come dengue and malaria,
So, if you can,
You leave.
If not, you jostle in lines
Waiting for the water truck
That may or may not arrive.
Constantly swarmed
By hot and sweaty people
Who may or may not behave.
A hand here and a hand there -
In crowds like these,
Nobody can be blamed.
The golden wonderland
Hollywood waits for
Is our fiery hell.
Brain freezes from slushies
Are a luxury.
Who do you play board games with
When everyone is always working,
Trying to make ends meet,
Trying to find something, anything to eat.
With each year passing by
It only grows hotter
And wilder.
Yet, pleasantly unaware,
I turn the air conditioning on,
And forget myself
As I dive into movies about white people
Going to beaches, sun tanning,
And skinny dipping.

This work has been published in Beetle Magazine's June 2020 Issue. Read the full issue here:

Illustration by Dhanashree Pimputkar


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