Last Thursday, I felt a sudden inspiration and within a couple of hours, I had finished writing my column for this week. Naturally, I was pleased with myself since I usually write it on the Sunday, or some times even an hour before the deadline on Monday afternoon.
I was particularly satisfied since the column was about the sweltering heat wherein I was lamenting the fact that we were already in May and there was no sign of Pune’s famous April Magic. I was truly inspired and all ready with my tirade against global warming, complete with data, history, witty quotes and the works. I decided to send it Friday evening, just so the Pune365 desk doesn’t get used to receiving stuff early every week. And on Friday evening, just as I was about to send the article, a cool and gentle breeze wafted in the window by my desk … and then it was followed by a gust, a gale and a thunderstorm in that order.
Well maybe I am exaggerating about the gale, but the thunderstorm was awesome with deafening claps of thunder and a blanket of blueish white, flashes of light.
I sat back to enjoy the light drizzle and cool breeze since I knew it would pass. And so I decided I would send the column Saturday evening, after everyone had gone back to being slow-roasted by the sun.
Slow-roasting is a common phenomenon in Pune. In the 1990s and early 2000s (before the construction boom), it used to start around mid-March, pick up force by April and then, some time between mid and third week of April, the trees would start dancing, the wind would sing, and a cool, really cool breeze would descend upon the city, and stay a-visitin’ for a couple of days.
It always threatened to rain, but rarely would, just staying cool and pleasant and then depart as soon as it came, prompting the sun to then go from ‘slow-roast’ to ‘Stun’ to ‘Boil & Melt’ settings for May through June till the cavalry turned up in the form of pre-rain rains.
Those two-three April days of cool respite was, what my friend (and city-based journalist) Sanjay Pendse called ‘April Magic’.
But that was a long time ago and this was mid-May and it was finally Saturday evening, around 8 pm, and I figured I would send my column about the bloody heat around 9 pm, after I returned to Baner from DSK Vishwa in Dhayari, where I had spent the sweltering afternoon.
Then, at 8.03, the weather turned and by 8.07, the wind was screaming, the windows were rattling, the trees were dancing up a frenzy, the thunder was thundering down in frequent stabs of thick electricity and the rain was pounding the city.
And so there I was, trying to get back from Dhayari to Baner in a car that was being battered by the rainstorm even as it waded through the rivers on the roads – I was enjoying every bit of the weather (while wondering if the lightning would eventually catch up with us). I knew right then, that I would be back to writing and sending in the column on Monday barely meeting the deadline.
The Saturday night drive back was awesome – traffic was smooth, no snarls or jams – and we made it back in the regular 40 minutes!
I guess it was fashionably late but at least the April Magic finally turned up in style!
# This article features a video taken shot by the Author.
All views expressed in this column are the Authors.
Sanjay Mukherjee is a Pune-based business consultant. He is Founder of RedstoneSummerhill and The Mountain Walker and also serves as Chief Strategy Advisor for the Hong Kong-based learning technology company, Peak Pacific Limited