Yesterday late morning I went out to get something from the nearby shop. Just as I stepped out of my home I was struck by the heat and stopped to look up at the sky. Such heat!
When you reach an advanced age, you won't easily be rattled by anything so commonplace as heat in our country. Cold? Yes, of course. I feel cold much more than before. But heat I don't dislike. My senses are not affected by my age at least in judging heat.
I got a little excited.
At the shop the young man serving customers calmly looked to me as I entered. My excitement was unusual. I straightaway asked him, "Did you ever see such heat in February?"
Young men nowadays are much more thoughtful compared to when we were young. He didn't show any excitement at all. He first averted my direct approach deftly, "Uncle, we tend to forget how hot it was last year, or for that matter three years ago." Instead of heat, now he went along a rather unexpected direction, "Uncle, do you get the quality of vegetables as you used to get ten years back?"
I knew this man to be a thinking man, but didn't really expect such a subtle approach. I had to agree. He continued, "So how can you expect the February heat to be the same as it was ten years ago? It can't be. Everything is changing. There are so many reasons for the weather to get hotter. Look at how polluted Kolkata has become!" Again I had to agree.
I knew he agreed with me in the main, but I also felt his misgivings were more intense.
I couldn't fault him. He is still young. He still has to be on this only earth for many more years than me.
On the way home I couldn't get rid of my unease. I was quite sure of my senses. I was certain that I have never seen such strong midday heat in February ever in my life as long as I am in Kolkata.
Entering home, I caught hold of my son who apparently was busy and reluctantly looked up at me. But I had to say my say, "You know, how hot it is outside! I have never seen such heat in Feb. Remember our forest trip in early March? We roamed around in open forest for days without any discomfort at all. Isn't it?" A thoughtful modern young man, he was composed. Calmly he shook his head, "Yes."
I had to calm down.
Noon passed. I finished part of my work after lunch and looked up. What happened? Already day end? All my windows were open and light gradually dimmed while I worked, I didn't notice. How long am I working?
I looked at my watch. Eh, it is only 4.45 pm.
At this precise moment things became totally clear to me. The great principle of disproportion confronted me with a huge disproportion. I couldn't but see it now with all my senses alert.
I was badly influenced by the morning heat to think and continue thinking deep down that it was April. A sure sign of age and forgetfulness of surroundings. This is only Feb with a much shorter day. Unmistakable mismatch of things that should have been in harmony.
I realized with hope,
Whatever we have done to our earthly heat in Feb, the Sun is beyond that. It is still following its own usual routine of bringing day and night by its own rhythm and not jolted by the puny humans in the least.