The two week long spring is over. The nine month long summer has arrived. Seasons have a completely different meaning in the city by the Arabian Sea. They are either short and fleeting with lingering memories or long and permanent with strong impressions that cloud our every thought of the city. The Mangoes have blossomed and their flowers litter my driveway, to be picked up, sniffed and rejected.

Summer in Karachi means a steady, warm, humid wind blowing in from the west. It has its own smell, one that I have to come to associate with summers. It has its own taste. It has its own feeling. Like a sudden gust of cold wind on a hot day. Yes, I think it is the wind, suddenly one day, it has all these characteristics, and I know that summer has arrived; not to leave for months. And my companion in the summers, the amazing sea breeze, that I have come to associate this city with.

Along with summers comes another thing. The scents of all the flowers that bloom all of a sudden. The Raat ki Rani, the Motia, the Chambeli. The warm, humid atmosphere suddenly accentuates their fragrance a thousand fold. I feel a waft of each one of them, distince and strong, as I cross my lawn to get to the gate. I remember each and every section of my lawn by the smell that punctuates it into different parts. It is the progression of fragrances that leads me into or out of my house.

As soon as I enter my house there is only one thing. Fans, turned on, full. The three fans in the hall all make a different, distinctive sound, just as if they were different people with their own voices. They all throw air at me in strong gusts. Summer for me means entering my house and being greeted by their sounds and their actions. Tired and sweaty I enter my house, into the cool embrace of my fans. Whose voices stay in my memory every day I am not with them.

As you might have realized. I love summers. I might say something completely opposite to this when I have to endure days of an electricity less life, but, remember then, that this now, is what I think of summers, when I am sane of mind and thought.

5 Comments so far

  1. hafsa (unregistered) on March 19th, 2005 @ 1:33 pm

    i love the smell of ‘raat ki rani’

  2. Anathema (unregistered) on March 19th, 2005 @ 10:14 pm

    I hate heat. but summers in karachi are the best. and yes. i concur. it is the breeze. something about it which u can never experience anywhere else in the world. Its the odour of the Arabian Sea mixed with the dryness in the air mixed with some plants. its distinct. the moment u land at karaci airport in july: the heat may drain u, but the smell and breeze reneww a certain part of u. so very true. summers in karachi: warm and refreshing daybreak, with humidity permittining clouds to present us karachiites hope that the sun may take a break for a short while. and suddenly by eight in the morning mrecury is risiinig. but its never hot in karaci. its humid. breezy. perspiration cooled off by nature’s gift. and then suddenly by five o clock u sense teh sea breeze take ovr the heat and savour as the cool summer evening is refreshing as eveer, the odour strong as ever to linger in your senses while you sleep. the golden sunsets th most gorgeouos as can be, whtere reflecting off mcb tower or simply burying below the sealevel. and then, the night time: the sea wild and the breeze stronger than ever.

    sigh. karachi summer: a dream to capture it somehow, somewhere.

  3. Anathema (unregistered) on March 19th, 2005 @ 10:16 pm

    and not to forget the other gift: flamingos by mai kolachi (or at least till last year: before th landfill happened!) and sea gulls screamin. ah! summers in karachi: thou art a blessing.

  4. abbas h (unregistered) on March 22nd, 2005 @ 9:31 pm

    and the jheenga trucks on mai kolachi.

  5. Anathema (unregistered) on March 24th, 2005 @ 2:54 pm

    jheenga trucks in summers? as far as i know, fishing on teh karachi coastal areas is forbidden during summers, owing to an enraged Arabian Sea.

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