I've always wondered about the western fascination with summer and the wonderful sun. Maybe to appreciate it, I'll have to go live somewhere where they see the sun as a wonderful thing to behold and a harbinger of happiness. But seriously, what does some random Brit know about the sun? "I'll follow the sun", he says. Try it for an hour over here and you'll never sing that song again! Phrases like "going out in the sun", "getting a tan" are used in happy positive sentences. How weird!
In summers where I come from, get out any time between 8am and 8pm and you are bound to be greeted by the sun of your nightmares. The one that brings drought and famine across the land. The parched earth it produces is like those wrinkled old women who have forgotten about the youth that will never be theirs again.
We have ways to survive this annual phenomenon called summer. The vacations help us in avoiding quite a bit of it. The rest of the time, schools in many places open earlier so the kids don't get burned into ashes by the time they get to school for the morning assembly, which, in my school-going days was another battle against heatstroke. Though it wasn't "manly" to carry umbrellas in the sun, trying to walk in the almost pin-point shadows cast by thirsty trees was cleverness not cowardice.
Everyone is also concerned about turning into a darker shade of brown and people have devised many personalised ways of beating this. Covering yourself with cotton clothes from head to toe each time you step out, umbrellas, staying indoors...
So what is the best part about summer? The knowledge that the brilliant monsoon will come and wash away the weariness!