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How do I know that summer has finally arrived? Last evening I saw Luci sleeping on her back with all four legs in the air. Sorry, there is no picture as it was already late and I was too sleepy. So there it is, an indication of just how hot it is. Luci no longer wants to sleep in her bed, instead she flops on the cool, well comparatively cool is what I mean here, floor. And after a while of that goes all-fours-up. The better to catch some breeze from the overhead fan, Mommeee. You guessed right. She sleeps right underneath the fan.

There is something about the heat that demands tidiness. Is it just me or do any of you find it so? Clutter seems to increase the heat quotient and make it more unbearable. On the other-hand, a tidy room seems to bring the temperature down a bit. So I went about putting everything away in its place, tearing up and binning the unwanted bills, rearranging stuff to free up space and make the room look spic and span. I got the distinct feeling that the temperature had come down a notch.

I knew it was all rubbish and just my imagination playing tricks on me when I opened the balcony door and the heat from the tarred road hit me. The poor suffering trees and plants! They looked so listless, even those that were watered liberally last evening. That’s a job for the L&M, not that I wouldn’t do it, but he has taken it upon himself to care for the plants. Luci is his little helper who gets in his way sometimes, nowadays not so much now that she is older, generally making things interesting.

Here’s something funny about their evening ritual. When the L&M gets up to make tea in the evening, Luci will still be sleeping. She nary gives him a glance when he walks across the hall (where she is snoring away to glory) and to the kitchen. He makes his tea, drinks it sitting in a chair close to her. There is still no acknowledgement from her. When the L&M finishes and puts the cup down, he says:

Chedikku vellam ozhikkan pokaam?” (Shall we go water the plants?)

At the very first word, Luci springs up like magic. From then on she is all wriggly butt and wagging tail, eager to get going. Running to the door she waits impatiently for the L&M to catch up and open it.  Hurry Dad, hurry! Both step out, the L&M tends to the plants and Luci, the multitask-er that she is, gets busy with multiple things, right from rolling in the mud to poking her nose into holes dug by bandicoot rats, standing at the wall staring at the old lady next door (sheesh, what bad manners!) tending to her plants, keeping an eye out for the cat and kittens (they were here yesterday relaxing on the wall while Luci was inside), so on and so forth.

All this while I’ll be sleeping the sleep of the dead upstairs. One and a half hours, sometimes two, of siesta is a luxury I indulge in since the past few years. After all I sleep late (words to be written inevitably tiptoe in during the silence of the night), and have to catch up on those missing hours.  Luci waits patiently downstairs for me to wake up.

On some days though she gets impatient and comes in search of me. Isn’t it time, she asks by way of a slobbering kiss on my nose, to get up and join us? If I am not up pronto, she repeats her query till I wake up with the distinct impression that I am drowning. Water, water everywhere. Eh, what? Oh it’s you, Luci! Did you really have to wake me? *moan* Come on here, you sweetie pie! you Ooloolompop! Having achieved her goal she flops on the floor waiting for me to gather my Kindle and phone and glasses before I make my way down.

Now, what was I talking about? Oh yeah, that summer has arrived. There is a stillness during the day (nights are okay still). Nothing moves. It is as if moving is a gargantuan effort that they, the branches and leaves that is, are unwilling to make. What they need is lots of water, gushing, pouring water from the skies. It is time for one of them sudden summer showers to fall and bless us all. Hopefully soon…..

©Shail Mohan 2018