Wednesday 3 March 2010

"Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?"

Nooooooooooooo. Whenever I listen or read this line from Shakespeare, it evokes lovely images in my mindscape but then all of a sudden there is a jerk . . . I BECOME AWARE OF THE ACUTE HEAT and reality dawns on me. Lovers all over the world read out these lines to their beloved but when in India, I guess this will/does not hold good. Summers in India, especially in Chennai are hot, sweaty, dusty and cruel. The heat gives one the feeling of melting away eternally. The water-melons, musk-melons are all lined up in the market-places with people buying them to alleviate their heat. Umbrellas, caps, shades and cottons are out on the streets in full glory.

Shakespeare talks of the summers in England where it is lovely with a gentle breeze to soothe the soul. And so he is justified when he compares his beloved to a summer's day with golden hue and all but imagining a love-struck individual in Chennai comparing his/her beloved to a summer's day would invite some suspicion. The beloved in question would immediately think of the sweat, heat, dust and dryness and the lover would be dismissed with a curt glance and bitter phrases.

When I read of winters and snow in Jenean's and Zuzana's blogs, I wonder about the difference that is prevalent. There they are wondering about spring and the sun while I have already started complaining about the heat and sweat. When bloggers post pictures of snow, I can't help but feel a wee bit jealous but when they talk of the gloom, traffic snags and lost connectivity, I revise my thoughts. It is a well-known joke that in Chennai there are only three seasons: Hot, Hotter and Hottest!

Probably "Shall I compare thee to a summer's day" was written for lovers in a particular geographical location in spite of Mr. Shakespeare being universally celebrated. Dear readers, summer is here in my part of the world and it is not very nice.

Sonnet 18

~ William Shakespeare

Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate;
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer's lease hath all too short a date;
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often is his gold complexion dimm'd;
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance or nature's changing course untrimm'd;
But thy eternal summer shall not fade,
Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow'st;
Nor shall Death brag thou wander'st in his shade,
When in eternal lines to time thou grow'st:
So long as men can breathe or eyes can see,
So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.


  1. Susan...I am going to trust your judgement on that one and suggest that if and when I travel to your part of the world that I avoid your summer at all costs. When do you suggest is the best time to travel to India and where would you suggest for a first timer???
    Jeanne :)

  2. oh, susan, heat already!!! divine!!! another overcast rainy snowy cold day here - perhaps just a little drop of that magnificent heat could be attached to your post??? ;)

  3. Jeanne:

    Have written an email to you. Please do check. Summers are pretty cruel here and one can't wait to get cool and cooler.


    How nice to see your presence in the Meanderings. It has been hot here since mid-Feb and its sweltering. You would die if you were here. Don't ask for the heat from here. It is terrible.

    Joy always.

  4. I wait your answer to Jeanne's question.

    (But while I'm waiting--grin!) Peeps in summer in South Florida (US) Naples complain, complain about the heat, daily in the very humid 90's (Degrees)...

    I LOVE IT HOT! Came here 45 years ago to be warm, and I like HOT!

  5. All extremes are bad... too cold or too hot... BEST TEmperature : the Canaries... average along the whole year 20º C...

    When it's "too" cold it's so welcome and when too hot we have the sea always near to feel fresh... Some luck we must have .. for some reaon they call these the Fortunate Islands...Now I prove again that's so true...
    But due to climate change we've also suffered a few weird and not usual hurricanes and floods!

    You know? You are welcome to visit me whenever you like, my dear Susan!

    Joy and a frozen COKE!

  6. well, in my part of the world, the summer last about 8 months, with 2 weeks of spring preceding it and 2 weeks of autumn following it.
    summer here is just SUFFOCATING. It's humid, the air is thick and scalding, and one can't really breathe.

    and with the global warming, this year we actually had summer in mid-january!

    I grew up in East Europe, where we had snow in the winter and cool showers of rain in the summer. Oh how I miss that weather.

  7. Dear Steve:

    Some like It Hot BUT not me anyway!! Grinnn. I prefer a weather where I don't sweat much and here I am melting away!


    I would love to be there. You must be having all the luck and maybe god's grace as well. Thanks for the invitation dear dear Dulce. Instantly I am there in my thoughts as for the physical self, some time to be transported.


    Atleast you gave vagaries in the weather unlike here. Global warming has made a great difference with erratic changes in the usual patterns. Just look at the paradox of things: We always welcome change from the usual but in weather and other things, we detest the changes. They are of course changes for the worse and not the better.

    Nice that you have something to think and miss. I don't even have that kind of memory of a lovelier weather.

    Thanks for the lovely insights.
    Joy always.

  8. What a great post once again!
    Ah yes, most likely Shakespeare was thinking of Northern Europe when writing that sentence.
    As much as you at times feel a bit of envy of our seasons, I envy you with all my heart your climate. I guess we always want what we do not have.:)
    I only wish at times our summers were a bit warmer. That is all.;) They would be a lovely reward after surviving the terrible winters.;)
    Thank you so much for the mention and the link.;))

  9. Great point, Susan. Perspective is everything. In the thick of winter, when I'm at my grouchiest, I try to take a step back and see the snow through my children's eyes. They're always in the mood for "a winter wonderland."

    That said, I am surely excited about spring! :)

    Great post. I smiled while reading it...and Will's lovely sonnet, of course.

  10. Sarah, Chennai sounds like Cairo. Hot, hotter, and hottest. Yep! That's how it is in Cairo. And now I live in South Central Texas and it's the same. But this year we've had an unusually bitter cold winter, and I'm just dying for the warmth that allows me to slip into my bathing suit and go out to tan in my yard! Ah... I just can't wait. And I do so love the heat. I've lived in all sorts of climates, but the warm ones are just my favorites!


  11. Susan,

    I cannot do heat. I like a few days of lazing around a beach, breezes blowing, every 6 months or so. Otherwise I prefer the cold. I like mountains and snow, and fireplaces with fires blazing, cabins and quilts, tea or coffee and books read far into the night cashmere socks on my feet.

  12. Oh! tell me about it susan..... My Migraine has worsened because of this heat.... took a off from work today... and am I glad.... some relief from the heat.... cause I have a lovely backyard with 24/7 cool breeze..... I know something you would surely be jealous of... LOL.... :) My dear, please drop in atleast to experience what I am talking about..... :D


  13. Dear Zuzana:

    Oh yes Mr. Shakespeare was definitely NOT thinking of Chennai! LoL. I wish that our summers were a bit cooler :)

    You are welcome dear Zuzana. I always appreciate your visits and its a pleasure to link your blog to my post :)

    Ah Lydia!

    Thats my sister's name as well. Welcome to the meanderings. Thanks for your lovely comments and suggestions. I appreciate the bookmarking. You are very kind. Nice of you to come by and do come by when you feel like it.

    Happy blogging to you as well.

  14. Sarah:

    Perspectives ah yes! I am grouchy all through summer (read when out of home). Children are a delight -- their perspective and world-view is simply adorable. But then we do grow up and then . . .

    Keep smiling and have a lovely weekend :)


    The Cs - Chennai and Cairo. I always thought of Cairo as something very exotic and fascinating. In spite of you mentioning the heat, I would like to visit that place.

    I am sure that the Chennai heat will collapse your love for the warm climate. Tan!!!! How I don't like that as I tan in specific places like only the forehead and its not very pleasant. Come some time and try it. I shall host you!!!

    Nice weekend dear Nevine :)

  15. Angie:

    We share a kindred spirit here. But I can't bear extreme cold as well. Temperates would be preferable I presume.

    Have a lovely weekend Angie :)


    Hope you are feeling better and cheerful now. The backyard sounds cool but then my 'real' work has started and so putting off backyard lazing till August or so. Take good care and be happy.

    Joy always.

  16. hey lady - just dropping by to see how your day is going - it remains cold and overcast here - bahhumbug - but i'm going out and about with my sunroof back and my heater on! :)

    i'm so ready to have plants blooming and grass "greening" -

    have a glorious day and come see!

    hugs, dear friend!

  17. I love Shakespeare! Can't say the same for scorching sun and heat.. which isn't too kindly here either!! The heat just gets to us sometimes, not the kind of heat that we would prefer to portray for lovers and passion, unfortunately!

    Susan.. thank you for your message to me. It brightened up my day. You are a great gal! Thank you my sweet friend ;)

    Great Big Hugs,

  18. There is an award for you at my site.
    nice weekend!

  19. Hey Jenean:

    I am doing well. Hope you are sunny and happy. Shall come by and by. You have a lovely Saturday :)

    Joy and peace always.

  20. Dear Silver:

    Hope you come back soon and dole out those thoughtful and delightful posts. Hope your kids are doing well.

    You are being fervently missed.

    Come back soon.

    Joy always

  21. Dulce my dear:

    You are very kind.

    Great weekend to you sweets :)

  22. I'm so tired of the cold...your hotter sounds so good.

  23. Sarah:

    Ah! the vagaries of weather in different places! How will it be when the whole world has one similar weather --- Nah, not very nice and fewer blog posts.

    Joy always dear Sarah.



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