By Goutam Shankar
They are sizzling! Not the gals (alone) yaar, the boys too and that includes me. Now veer away from your dirty imaginations and concentrate on the heat factor. My Jamshedpur fraternity is bound to feel jealous when I mention that today’s Richter scale (recall the good old wooden scale that the teacher used on your palm to send tremors down your spine and elsewhere and which, in modern times, is used by the Kolkata Meteorological Department to measure the Celsius) reads 42.6 degrees whereas in the city of my birth, growth and marriage/death it touches 46 degrees and that too, dry (without ice and soda).
Here in Kolkata where I am serving Kela Pani, the heat and humidity factor makes one yearn to do the striptease without disturbing the dogs, literally.
But there is always a positive side which the common folks like dolts, voters and you fail to observe. Women’s skimpy clothes are getting skimpier and if you dare to go in for a closer look (called ‘ogle from close quarters’ as mentioned in Hydrophobia’s Dictionary), you would wish the summer to linger for 13 months.
Lingerie months, you may call them. Walking down the flat pavements and streets of this City of Joy, one is bound to rejoice amidst murmurs of disgust, at the site of such delectable pieces of the Lord’s creation, walking along or past you nonchalantly as if the shift from the cabaret floor to the road is a natural phenomenon with the luster of care-a-damn attitude to add to your elongated desire for raising the Celsius factor.
It is only after you have sweated and are wet all over that you realize that it is time to rush home, take off your clothes and relax under the fan until sanity returns with a promise for more heat and lust. Believe me, as all Kolkatans do, including the politically motivated species of humans, there is not an iota of lie in my observation. If you don’t, I will consider you as one of the most ungrateful humans for failing to acknowledge the fact that I have raised your desire for a Kolkata summer’s sojourn (and it’s after effects).
The heat and lust factors in Kolkata and aaju-baaju areas are on the rise. Booze, bombs and ballot boxes, inter-spread with allegations and counter-allegations of rigging, threats, murder, usage of choicest expletives, inactive or paralyzed police and central forces, are routine joys of living for the Election Commission.
These may be the genuine lust factors of a heat generated by the election fever. Yet, this remains the City where joy for the eyes and other senses are perennially omnipresent. Bengal bhalo, jhaal achhey!