Delhi’s infamous summer hit us from behind. We had experienced it on our short visits over the years, but we had never lived in it. The billies from the hills weren’t prepared for their first summer with temperatures above 45 degrees C.
Our Gypsy’s air-conditioning had given up the ghost during Tony’s accident (see Post 156) and the black garbage bag covering the right rear window didn’t even try to keep the heat out. Driving around Delhi was unpleasant to say the least.
It wasn’t in our budget to get air-conditioners in the flat but we were able to install a desert-cooler in the living room. It was made up of a steel frame, a water trough and straw padding. When we first turned it on our house smelled like a horse’s stable, but it did the job. When the smell got too bad, we put a few drops of essential oil into the water and that was sucked up into the straw.
Summer power cuts were common. With everyone using their air-conditioners, Delhi’s power source took strain. When the power went off, everything went off. No lights, no fans and no desert-cooler. Fortunately we had done a strategic swap with Raman and Kiron: our electric blanket for their inverter. This re-chargeable battery was able to run two ceiling fans and a tube light in the lounge for about three hours.
During night power cuts, we would wake up drenched with sweat not knowing how long the fans had been off. One by one we would drag our mattresses into the lounge. The kids would soak their sheets in water and we would lie spread eagled under the two droning fans. There would be lots of giggling and silly nonsense before we finally drifted off to sleep again.
We casually mentioned our vehicle and air-conditioning situation to God. “God, we can do this, but don’t expect us to be too productive.”
When Dudley Daniel heard of our predicament, he very kindly helped us to purchase a/c s for the whole house. We were so grateful.
Soon after that, someone unknown to us, sent us money to purchase a brand new Toyota Qualis. Again, we were amazed and incredibly grateful.
For Jordan’s birthday we gave him a gift we could all use. We put it on our back balcony and it was perfect for those hot, sweaty summer nights.
Necessity is the mother of invention.