Winds of change
We’ve been having strange weather in Bombay the last two weeks. It’s blazing hot, dry heat during the day – 36 degrees and above (yesterday it was nearly 40 degrees and it feels like 43 degrees today) – but night temps have been as much as 20 degrees lower.
It’s also been a strange winter. Actually icy — and I’m not adding the usual rider, ‘by Bombay standards’. It has actually been COLD, and cold for longer than the two or three days that cool weather usually lasts in Bombay.
Before that, the monsoon arrived nearly two months late, and departed nearly two months late.
Basically, it’s been strange weather and not only this year, but for the last seven or eight years. So finally, I’ve had to accept it. There’s nothing predictable about our climate anymore, except for the fact that it will be unpredictable for the next few years at least (it’s too early to see patterns).
The one predictable thing about India, this most unpredictable of countries, has always been the climate. You knew when it would be hot, wet, cool or cold, humid, whatever and you could make your plans around it, even your work plans.
For instance, for all lifestyle journalists on city publications, it’s been a given that, by early June, we must have our prepare-for-the-monsoon series of stories ready. Last year we ran those stories in early June as usual – but it didn’t even drizzle till six weeks later and I felt like an idiot.
And yesterday, thinking up packages for summer (and remember, it’s been really, REALLY hot for the last couple of weeks), I suddenly stopped with the thought, oh no, suppose by next Wednesday the temperature suddenly shoots down to 10 degrees again… We’ll look like fools, carrying stories on the cooling happiness of buttermilk when we should have done something on hot chocolate instead.
And then I laughed. Because I’ve been reading about global warming and climate change for years, but my gosh, I can actually see it happen. Most of the really big planetary changes on Earth happened long before the existence of human beings. This time, however, we’ll be seeing them as they actually take place.