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   These must be the last few days of summer. (November 6, 1992)

Long, sunny, comfortably warm, early dawns and late evenings, the evening lingering beyond sunset, clear skies through the day, a star-studded canopy in the night, the sun a round golden orb in the sky.But soon the summer will end. The clear cloudless days will give way to grey wet days, the sun will disappear behind the veil of clouds, there will be no technicolour sunrises and sunsets, only mornings and nights, and from the skies would descend continuous torrents of water, filling the streets, entering houses, leaving a cover of fungus on the furniture.Already the signs of the impending monsoon are there, and not just through the warnings of MRF and the weather bureau. The koyal, which is normally believed to be lodged in Lata Mangeshkar's throat, is now sitting concealed in the mango groves and registering its plaintive laments, though I have never figured out for summer or for the delayed arrival of the monsoon. And the skies in the evenings, as the sun makes its day's final 20-degree journey towards the horizon, turn orange and scarlet. Colours which if a painter were to reproduce on his canvas would be described by critics as unnatural. And in the distance, on occasions, when I have time to watch, I see a faint cluster of fleecy clouds, looking like sailboats coming into the harbour.

These are not rain-bearing galleons, which are still somewhere in the Palk Straits, or, nearest, at the southern extremes of the Kerala coast, these are the advance guard which have come to probe and study the weather winds and prepare the grounds for the monsoon. In another age and another battle, they would be known as the heralds of the monsoon.People who do not know better, or do not wish to know better, are always complaining about the summer and the heat. I never do - this is my weather. This is essential Bombay weather. When the temperatures are in the comfortable 30s, and a reasonably high humidity keeps things comfortable, when the body sweats out its pollutants, and the sea-breezes keep the city clean and deodorant. A time for summer clothes and dress -informal, for chilled beer and green salads, air-conditioners, or, if you are not that fortunate, Sharon Prabhakar designed (inspired) ceiling fans. And setting out from the house each morning with the knowledge that there is no possibility of your getting wet and stranded.I am enjoying my last few days of the sun and summer. And I am hoping that the changes in the weather cycles, because of the destruction of the earth's natural wealth, will delay the Bombay monsoon for another two (preferably three) weeks.

 
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