It was not that it ceased to make the factory-worth of noise that it always makes, it was not that it stopped spewing air into my flat, it was just that, as far as coolness and dryness was concerned, it hit a wall. The air it produced was now unbearably loaded with moisture. It was as if someone had compiled large buckets of hot, glue-like sweat and was slowly pouring these buckets over my head. Escaping the barsaati-cooler nexus and venturing outside brought home an even nastier reality: all the stifling mugginess of a Calcutta in March-April, but coupled with a sort of wet, 43 degree loo, a bit like a heavyweight boxer punching you in the head, but with sodden gloves. At my advanced age, and despite my bank account showing a robustness comparable to Saurav Ganguly’s current batting average, I was forced to throw in the extremely wet towel.
The discussion around compressors and motors lasted for two days and was conducted mostly from the homes of more fortunate friends, the ones who already Had One, or Had Many. A friend best known for being a brilliant historian spent an entire lunch proselytizing about how I had No Choice.
This resonates with me. Not just because it was my first extended experience of the Delhi Summer (yes, it must be capital letters), but because I was delighted witness to some of the discussion that preceded the purchase.