The roads shimmer with the waves of heat rising off the steaming asphalt. The sky is a leaden vault, the air feels like boiling oil, and the sun shoots death rays at anyone brave enough to venture outside. No, this isn't a scene from some futuristic sci-fi alien movie; this is Dhaka city reeling under the heat wave currently making tandoori out of us. Our Campus Sleuths have been skulking around to see how the student populations have been faring. Here's what we found
A splash or reality
The halls of one campus are abuzz with complaints, and language more colourful than anything comes flying through the air. When asked what all the fuss was about one person replied "During the admission periods, each floor gets it's a/c on in full force, wherever we go, a breeze of cool wind welcomes us. But right after the semester begins, all we get are those measly oscillating fans in each corner! What do they think? We're fools?" Looks like the sun's not the only thing heating up the place; those tempers look to be close to boiling!
The Fashion Spree
A wise man once observed that the heat in the weather is inversely proportional to the amount of clothing worn. We got to test this hypothesis this week. The first thing we saw on entering our test site was this guy sporting a pair of shorts, happily embroiled in an argument with the campus authority who couldn't stomach the blatant display of legs. When we approached this valiant rebel, his reply was "What am I to do? It's hot man!"
Some people actually manage to be optimistic in this torture zone. "I love the summer heat, specially the impact it has on the clothing of the female population. Just love it!" Now we won't refute that, probably because the sight that meets the eye when you go to any of these campuses would put the latest Bollywood actresses to shame!
Hairstyles have changed, dress materials changed, shoes changed even accessories like a good ol umbrella has become the "in thing".
The survivor and the martyrs
One character, when the generators quit, went panting about in search of a fan. Upon finding one, he stood there, arms outstretched like a character from the Titanic movie, savoring the coolness. This state of bliss didn't last very long, however, as another individual, apparently struck by the same bolt of inspiration, head-butted him Zidane-style out of the way and took his place before the fan. Now, you know what they say about 'what goes around comes around'. Before he could enjoy a single whiff of the breeze, some other people came in to claim the fan, and thus ensued a mad jostling and pushing and shoving, the likes of which you could only find in a 'seating-service' public bus.
One man's tragedy is another man's triumph
Some people are truly benefiting from this heat wave, though. The Mama in the corner selling ice creams and cold drinks is consulting us on how he can invest his income in real estate or shares as his lungi cant handle the pouring money anymore!
We the campus inhabitants still look forward to the Pohela Boishakh where we can wear saris and bask in the intolerable heat getting our eye makeups all over the face and sing "Esho he Boishakh!" Because we know the first drop of rain, The Kaal Boishakhi that is sure to follow will give us the pleasure that nothing can give. Now that's another story for another Sunday!