There is something about it. No wonder lizards look so blissfully lazy in patches of it. It just seeps in and you feel warm and petted, inside out. The perfect way to spend a Sunday afternoon is to call a girlfriend over, stretch out next to the pool and bask. Just bask. Maybe talk a little. About god. And school. And Elle. And why Jimmy Choos are so expensive. Plan a trip to Scotland. Paint your toes. Take a nap. Bring your speakers to the pool and play iPod DJ.
We know this, right? As desis, especially. We have to know the power of sunshine. The way it heals you. The hardest year of my life was one without sunshine. Literally. Figuratively, I was basking in everyday. The work was satisfying, the company was amazing, the boss was a blast. But no sunshine. Within a week I was ready to sell my soul for some good ol' fashioned Madras-style sunshine (talking about the Madras sun, is it just me or is it true that it's almost impossible to find it anywhere else? I've seen plenty of suns but none as blindingly sunny as the one in Madras. What is up with that?). Of all the people most equipped to talk about sunshine, I must be really high up on the list (me and everyone else who has lived in Madras for more than 2 years).
I take every possible opportunity to sit in the sunshine (because absence makes the heart fonder and I'm now passionately in love with my Madras sun). In the square right in front of my school is a huge fountain (it's amazingly pretty - aren't all fountains?). Marble. With trees all around and little park benches. And at something like half past 4 every day you can see me sitting in the grass right next to it, in the biggest patch of sunshine I can find. I don't even need company. I just take a book, have my iPod and beyond that company is superfluous, no?.
Sometimes people come up to me and go "Oi Flaffy's-Real-Name, why the fuck (grad students have a limited vocabulary outside of science) are you sitting in the sun?" (I always say it's because I'm a sun-worshiper. most people don't know what to do with that. will it be politically incorrect to laugh? will the sun worshiper's society sue them? will they be forever known as sunnists?) Invariably, I find that the people who come and ask me this are Indians. Dyed in the wool, brown-as-berries Indians. And it never fails to surprise me. How can Indians (*Indians*) come and ask me this? Don't they realize the immense advantage we have over most other races in the world? Don't they understand that most people would kill to have our perfect-for-tanning skin? At least the type the browner of us have (and ought to cherish). With this skin we're all set for World Domination (think global warming - soon we'll be the only ones who can walk outside without protection). Can't they see this?
It strikes me (and maybe I'm reading too much into it) that there is dramatic irony in this. The gora log with their awfully white skin adore the sun and lust after tans. Sit in the sun for hours, become red as rare steak and peel like bananas, spraying sun screen over themselves constantly. While we, desis, blessed with skin-cancer-resistant, I-can-turn-a-pretty-shade-of-coffee-by-just-sitting-in-the-sunshine-for-a-couple-of-hours skin, insist on shying away from it with a modesty becoming of an eighteenth century peaches-n-cream virgin locked into the same room as Bluebeard.
Why would any god let this happen? Tchah. Try as I might, I cannot drum up enough energy to believe in the man. He seems inexplicable.