Just beat it

By R Chitra Published on Apr 20, 2017 04:13 PM IST

Everybody is talking about it. Switch on the TV, there is somebody advising you on how to face the hot summer months; switch on the radio and there is yet another person telling you how to stay cool in the torrid heat. Open the newspaper and there are columns written on how to beat the heat. WhatsApp also offers tips to maintain body temperature.

And mark, these are not experts but random people advising you from what they have read and heard.

This has become a fad or a necessity of life for the RJs and TV anchors who have to keep the show running 24 hours a day.

You can be sure they would all be repeating the same tips: Drink lots of water to stay hydrated; keep off heat-producing protein food like chicken; go for green leafy veggies; water-filled fruits like watermelon are ideal supplements.

With these tips coming out of my ears, I decided to follow some. There was an RJ who suggested that we drink only cold water to stay cool. I don’t know how authentic this statement is. I know a family in Chennai that drinks only hot water right through the year and stays cool even in summer.

But I have also heard people say that drinking cold water from the fridge actually produces heat in the body and does not really quench the thirst.

Then I come to learn from nature freaks who advise you to keep off fridge water and consume only paana thanni (water from the mud pot). This quenches the thirst and at the same time does not cause any harm to the system, they say.

How about the advice to down fruit juices during summer? But again, there are others who insist we take whole fruits to get the fibre content also intact.

One advice that stumped me was from the Chennai collector. An advisory from his office says use damp cloth and a fan. While no one needs advice to use the fan in summer, how is one supposed to use the damp cloth?

Another piece of advice from his office asks to keep the windows open. That would be an open invitation to the thieves - as is already happening in the city.

My own suggestion to counter all this free advice is to take them with a pinch of salt - it is a good balance in summer.