Summer vacations are fun. I like sun, I love it when it’s sunny and golden. The grass looks green, the paint looks brighter, and in general, the world looks happy. Even the flowers are dancing most of the time.
East coast has its own charm and there are some trumpets that only a New Englander can blow. Having the experience of all 4 seasons is one of them. Summer is especially worth mentioning because it is sublime. There are very few lands in the world which can boast of summer more beautiful than north-eastern part of North America.
Summer back in India is as different from the New England summer as chalk is from cheese. We all dreaded the summer, inspite of the fact that it meant longs months off from school, a fact that remains unchanged. Summer vacation in India is more a necessity than a leisure. Temperatures soar anywhere from 100F to 120F in most parts of the country. The Loo – a terribly hot wind – makes sure we are ensconced indoors whole day. The heat and scorching sun makes it next to impossible for anyone to carry on their day-to-day activities. However, offices run, daily wagers slog, and many lose the battle with heat. When I was young, Air Conditioning was not the norm in most homes, and Central cooling was practically unheard of.
So what did we do? We all used an indigenous cooling device which was known as ‘Water Cooler’ or ‘Evaporative cooler’. Based on a simple concept, it is a large square wire tank with a fan at the front. The sides are layered heavily with straw, and there is a large water trough at the bottom of the tank. The straw would be dripping wet, so hot air inside would rapidly cool down, throwing gales of chilled air into the room. The water inside the tank would keep the straw wet at all times, until it was gone. If the straw became dry, the fan threw out hot air. Then it was time for a refill with a simple garden hose. We even added aromatic essence to the water, which would fill the house with a beautiful fragrance.
Of course, another big problem in those days was that water table would routinely drop dramatically in the summer, making water a scarce commodity. Our water supply was timed, and we would fill out water tanks in our house. If the water table dipped too low, the corporation was unable to supply running water. Then they would send water tankers to the neighborhoods, and we would fill our tanks. Water was carefully rationed, and we always made sure there was plenty for the cooler.
To give you an idea, I got a picture from the web.
It was no where close to this stylish back in my school days, but they did their job beautifully. Although many of us eventually graduated to window AC, ‘Cooler’ continues to have a place of pride even today.
Choc Chip Uru, the beautiful lady from Go Bake Yourself awarded me the Illuminating Award. Coming from her, it means the world, because she is one the best out there. If you haven’t yet sampled her sweetness, head over to her fabulous blog and see for yourself. Thank you Uru, you are one big heart.
For this award, I have to tell you one random fact about myself. Well, I do have a secret wish – I want to write a novel. A romance at that. I have a story going around in my head for a long time now, but whenever I sit down to write, words escape me. I always think…how hard that can be? Well, let me tell you, it is HARD. Really really hard.
Now, I would like to pass on this beautiful award to some spectacular bloggers who light up the blogosphere every time they share something.
Also I won the first prize for Crunchy Creamy Sweet’s June Blue Ribbon Challenge. A BIG thank you to each and every one of you who voted for me. You guys rock my world.
So tell me, has any of ever seen or heard anything like our ‘cooler’?