It hit me like a bomb, though a pleasant one, the kind where you wake up and find you are in heaven with the angels crowding around asking if you would like paruppu usili or pasta to go with your sapota juice as served at the Madras Club. I had just been deposited on the railway platform in Bangalore. The Shatabdhi, having given itself a shake, had moved on, in the direction of Mysore. It was 11.00 am. And walking to and fro were men and women in jackets, shawls and even the odd muffler.
The injustice of it all was overwhelming. Does any city of India, given that it is not a hill-station, have any right to temperatures in the 20s when the rest of the plains are roiling away in the 40s? Back in Chennai, we had been roasted at 42 for over a week and even at 6.00 am that morning, Central had been like a wood-fired kitchen.
The driver in Bangalore suggested that he turn on the AC as it was so hot. I had to quell him from such foolish notions and ask him to leave the windows open. As the diesel-exhaust combo that passes for air in any of our metros wafted in, it was still pleasant enough to survive.
In my view, Bangaloreans are a creamy layer. They have no right to enjoy what is after all a national asset which must in the spirit of things, be taken over by the Government and equitably distributed to all less-blessed citizens of the country. As to how we do it I have no answer but having always blamed the Government for not being prepared to avail of opportunities, I want to ensure that a formula is ready and available for the time when weather-distribution technologies are perfected.
The first step is to define the maximum permissible temperature for Bangalore. This will be a figure arrived at by a team of scientists who will study what is the maximum temperature at which a Bangalorean can survive. The difference between this and the prevailing temperature will be distributed to other cities. First in the line to receive a slice of Bangalore’s weather will be the Most Battered (pardoning the language) City, which will be Chennai. This by virtue of its proximity will receive 22 ½ % of Bangalore’s coolness. Then will come Other Battered Cities (Delhi, Nagpur and Ahmedabad for instance), followed by Boiling Cities, Simmering Cities and Simmering Towns. The qualification for getting into these categories will of course depend on a Census of Abominable Summer Temperature Extremes. Some metros, will be branded Favoured Cities and will not qualify. Mumbai is one such as its maximum temperature hardly crosses 40. We will of course accommodate the minorities, which are towns that suffer bad weather only once in a few years.
The idea is that over time, Bangalore be rendered as much a hot spot as the rest, thereby arriving at perfect equality. I know that some of the creamy layer will immediately challenge this in a court of law. But I am willing to fight this up to the highest authority in the country. Let uniform temperatures prevail.