u m m e r s i z z l e s
heat this summer is worse than what a cow feels, while being roasted
over hot coals at noon in the middle of the Sahara desert. Unbearable
is the only thought boiling in people's minds. The searing heat creates
a shimmering haze that obscures any of the natural beauty related
to this season. For a moment people forget all else in their panting
desire for a cool respite.
like any other season summer also has its share of wonders. It's the
season that gives us a wide variety of flowers, fruits and vegetables.
Come to think of it, all the seasons have wide varieties of a wide
assortment of 'stuff'. Summer does have its specialties though that
no amount of perspiration can wipe off.
Summer here comes with a treasure trove of fruits. We get a variety
of indigenous fruits that are not only mouth watering, but also high
in nutritive value as well. When you think of summer, you think of
kalboishakhee storms and mangoes. The two go hand in hand. Darkening
skies, brilliant aerial displays of lightning, fierce winds knocking
the ripening fruit off the boughs, the fragrance of the wet earth
mingling with that of mango blossoms. That's a typical scenario over
here. From the succulent fozlis and the tangy lengras, to the tiny
gutlis and the legendary heemsagars, the mango has always been the
reigning favorite of the sunny season. Taken in the raw or as pickles,
morrobbas or aamshattyas, 'aam'-brosia is the word that comes to mind.
there's the jackfruit. With its rich flavor and impressive smell,
the sobriquet "Jack, the King of Fruits" seems a fitting
one. It is often called the "poor man's food", being abundant
in supply, and thus inexpensive, and packed to the brim with nutrients.
Some like it ripe, some don't, while others burn the seeds to make
bhorta, or cook the unripe version to make ichorer torkari…whatever
the preparation, it's a treat and a half.
no better way to beat the heat than with juicy fruits. Lychees, watermelons,
grapefruits, bel and pineapples…varied as they are in taste and appearance,
they make excellent beverages. Other than the sweet fruits, our country
also produces a vast collection of citrus. Amlokis, koromchas lotkons,
kamranga (star fruit), and jaam, (black currant). Need we say more?
It isn't uncommon to see bursts of vivid crimson appearing all over
the city this season. The krishnochura is a common sight in summer.
When you visit Dhanmondi Lake or Crescent Lake you're bound to see
the krishnochura, the radhachura, the jaruul, and the swarnalu in
abundance, creating a riot of colours - crimson, yellow, pale gold
and lilac against a backdrop of green. What artist could have created
such a combination?
culture is scattered with different types of festivities revolving
around the different seasons. Some get celebrated on a large scale
involving everyone for miles round and others happen on a quieter
scale in the family.
a festivity that is often carried out by the Hindu families during
this season is Jamai Shoshti where the family of the bride offers
gifts of clothing and fruity condiments to the groom's family. It's
a way starting off the season with a sweet touch so to speak. Of course,
this sort of culture exists in more or less the same form in all religions.
The two households of a married couple send each other gifts of this
nature. It is practiced more in villages where many people have their
own fruit trees. Such gifts are a way of making the relationship stronger.
Soothe the throat
may sound ugly to most people but it's something that catches up to
everyone eventually in this weather. Cold liquids in this parched
weather are worth the weight in gold. Well, almost. Sure, Coke and
Pepsi have the fizz and the million dollar jingles to attract you,
but nothing beats the goodness of a glass of fruit juice. It not only
quenches the thirst but is actually good for health provided the water
is not piped in straight off the Buriganga.
shops and makeshift roadside stands are quick to churn out a glass
of juice. Speaking of juices there is the ready to drink coconut that
comes out cool no matter what the outside temperature.
there are the icy cold curds, yogurts and custards, and let's not
forget the ever-popular lassis.
course if that is not cool enough for you then nothing else will do
except for ice cream. This year is the summer of the sundae, with
all the leading ice cream parlours and factories coming up with ingenious
combinations of flavours and toppings. In this heat it is a cool replacement
for tea when guests come visiting. Then again, who says you cannot
add some ice cubes to the tea?
Fashion trends quickly fade unlike our summer but the designers nevertheless
manage to keep up with the heat. Nylon, wool, chiffon, and silk…
all fabrics get chucked into the inner recesses of the closet, as
summer is the season for light weaves like cotton and linen. The colour
spectrum gets cooler with more earthen tones, more neutrals and cooler
solid colours, like purple, blue, green and pink. Sleeves recede to
half-length or even disappear altogether, and the length of the kameez
starts creeping northwards.
go for knit fabric t-shirts and fatuas with jeans. Many prefer short
shirts and loose pants. Freedom of movement is what the weather dictates
this summer. In terms of colour the past few years has seen the men
of our country slowly progressing (at times regressing) into bright
colours like orange, red, green and on the other end of the spectrum
there is lime green and bile yellow.
the children there is no specific fashion trend but the material does
matter a lot. Here cotton reigns over all else as in the case of the
grownups with linen and voile being cool and comfortable.
with the countries present downhill situation of politics it would
be a small wonder if few people think of what has been mentioned so
far. Take for instance the price of mangoes what with a lot of these
being imported. For most people the high prices make it difficult
to make some space in the budget for the bread earner(s) to treat
the rest of the family.
the present downhill situation of politics it would be a small wonder
if few people think of what has been mentioned so far. Prices of all
the goodies are high making it difficult for everyone to enjoy the
few good treats offered by summer. The heat outside along with the
heat of a burning wallet can make life miserable. Despite all that,
once there is a good summer storm and everything has cooled down a
bit, all the complaints get washed out, and we have a silver lining
to look at.
Translated by Ehsanur