The suspense is killing. And The Man from Madras Musings for one is not amused. When will we get the weather we are familiar with? MMM alludes to the sticky and hot season that really keeps us Chennai peoples on our toes. We are also at our happiest grumbling about it and when it is not vouchsafed us, we begin to fret. We as a people are unused to good weather and do not know how to enjoy it. Give us this day our daily sweat we pray.

But the weather gods or whoever/whatever else that decides on the climate have decided to play games with Chennai. How else can you explain these chilly mornings? The temperature was down to 18 deg C in Meenambakkam last week one night. That is enough for Chennai to shiver and pull out from the mothballs all the shawls, sweaters and other woollies that had not seen the light of day since the last time everyone went to Bangalore. The nights are pleasant as well and as for the day, while it is warming up after the harsh and dark winter we had, it is not yet summer. Considering that it is already mid-March, we are a puzzled lot. Heat we understand, but all this cold? No way. This is Madras, or at least was till we took to calling it Chennai.

All over the city, quarrels are happening over the temperature in which the air-conditioners are to be set. The majority of our citizens somehow imagine that office spaces need to be at arctic temperatures in summer and oven-like heat in ‘winter’ (you know the Chennai winter – a slight reduction in the overall heat). But now they are confused, not having ever used intermediate temperature settings. One half wants the air-conditioner to be set to near freezing on the grounds that it is summer while the other lot, that coughs and wheezes like clockwork from October to March, insists on ratcheting up the heat.

Similar is the ill will between those who get bitten by mosquitoes and those that don’t. This intermediary weather, known as spring in other parts of the world, has seen the proliferation of these airborne vectors as our Corporation refers to them. Our civic body in MMM’s view also looks on these insects with a paternal affection for it has done nothing to eliminate them. Their surge in numbers is causing much distress to the majority while a minority watches and scoffs.

All of this is bound to result in unrest of some kind, hopefully not of the jallikattu variety. The weather had better take a turn for the worse, and soon at that.