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   I have just installed a Voltas air-conditioner in my bedroom... (November 4, 1990)

I have just installed a Voltas air-conditioner in my bedroom. Last night, I inaugurated it.

First, I closed all the windows, keeping out the cool night breeze. Then, as per the instructions of the gentleman who had supervised the installation, I shut the bedroom door and stuck sheets of crumpled newspapers underneath and on the sides of the door jambs. This was because the door is not airtight and the wads of newspapers prevent the cool air from escaping from the bedroom and the warm air from entering.

Then, once again as per instructions, I switched on the air-conditioner, turned the knob of half, slowly counted up to 120, then turned the knob to full. The air-conditioner throbbed, like an A-320 accelerating its machines for the take-off.

I had to count up to 500, very slowly, before I felt the room colling down. It was a very pleasant feeling, I must way, like entering one of our cinemas when they were air-conditioned and, Metro used to advertise: Every seat, a cool retreat.

I then settled down to sleep. My first night in an air-conditioned room, apart from hotel rooms, that is, but they don't count. I switched off the lights and laid down in the bed. Fifteen minutes later, the room was getting a little chilly. So I got up, went to the cupboard, took out a light blanket, covered myself with it, and tried to sleep.

An hour later, sleep and not yet come, probably because of the excitement of sleeping in an air-conditioned bedroom, but also perhaps because it had become very very, cold. So I got up, got a heavy blanket from the cupboard, pure woll, shook the moth balls out of it, and spread it over me. It was still smelling of moth balls, but at least it was warm.

However, it must have been a very good air-conditioner (I had asked for the best), because the room kept getting coller and cooler. The bed, parts were not occupied by me, had become like a block of ice. So I got up again, put on a sweater, a jacket, woollen trousers, socks, and lay down. I wondered, if wome late caller came to the house, how would I explain my dress.

The clothes did not help much. I was freezing. Even when I slept, I dream I was in the Antarctic with the Indian meteorologists team, spending the tax-conditioner on half, but it was not much use. It seems once these things get going, they go. I did consider switching it off, but I am not so tich as to buy an air-conditioner and not use it.

Tonight will be another night. I am wondering if I can exchange the air-conditioner for a Khaitan fan.

 
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