When you’re looking for a house to rent, you search until your feet fold, you negotiate until your teeth fall off and you pay until your wallet is a tumbleweed of demonetised notes. But you finally find a place, and you dig it.
It’s got a huge terrace, extra bathrooms, great views, cosy ventilation, the works. It’s perfect… or is it?
You, my friend, have got yourself a barsati, which means as great as life is going to be in the winter, it’s going to be a 100 times the opposite of that in the summer.
A barsati is a blessing and a curse. It comes at decent prices, and sounds amazing on paper. You can make considerably more noise, since it just travels upwards, and it’s not as claustrophobic as a lot of places in the city.
But the heat. God damn, nothing can prepare you for the heat.
It’s like the sun made love to every corner of your sweet, innocent house, and tiny sun babies are now chilling in the walls and the ceiling.
Even Elon Musk can’t create an AC powerful enough to cool a barsati in the Delhi summer. It’s nigh impossible.
All you can do is sit there in your chaddis, feeling your soul being slowly sapped away as you melt into a puddle.
Delirious with the heat, you dream about the sweet embrace of winter – no electric bills, drinking rum on the terrace, not needing to bathe every 2 seconds.
But alas, for now you’re stuck… like literally, your skin is stuck together with sweat.
And god forbid the electricity pops off (as it decidedly will – this is India), you’re done for.
Fuck torture chambers, just chuck the poor bastard in a barsati with no power.
There’s not much you can do about it either. Sure, you can try getting some kind of insulation, but that won’t make much of a difference.
It’s tragic really, considering the languid, free-flowing charm of a barsati lies in its very legacy of simplicity.
That’s when you appreciate your friend’s ground floor wala ghar. You walk in and it’s hard to believe a house can be so cool with just a fan whirring in the background.
That’s about the time you realise – Even when you rise to the top, you gotta stay grounded.
PS: Global warming is a bitch.