Hint of rain...but India still sweats | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Hint of rain...but India still sweats

The summer sun relented on Tuesday, making way for cloudy skies and even rain in parts of India.

delhi Updated: Jun 12, 2007 18:12 IST

The summer sun relented on Tuesday, making way for cloudy skies and even rain in parts of India. But other areas continued to swelter, with six people dying in Madhya Pradesh.

After days of tortuous heat when the mercury hovered around a scorching 45 degrees, claiming 126 lives, and people kicked their air coolers in desperation when the machines refused to work in high humidity, there was a welcome dip in temperatures in places like Delhi and Shimla.

An overcast sky brought hope to the Indian capital. The temperature hovered at around 38 degrees Celsius, a three-degree dip from Monday.

People tried to stay indoors as much as possible and take as many baths as they could. But for those who had to step out, umbrellas, cold drinks, drinking water brought some respite - as did the promise of rain.

"I was gearing up for another hot and humid day with my water bottle and umbrella. But when I saw the cloudy sky and felt the cool breeze I was pleasantly surprised. I didn't mind walking to the bus stand," said Alvira Shah, a bank employee.

But the heat did claim one more life in the capital, taking the toll to nearly 30 in the last three days. Rickshawpullers, traffic policemen, salesman and homeless people have borne the brunt of the sizzling hot summer.

In Madhya Pradesh, the blazing sun continued to kill - with six more deaths reported - despite light showers in parts of the state on Monday night. It was a sizzling 48 degrees Celsius in the Datia area. Capital Bhopal, however, saw the temperature dip to 40 degrees Celsius.

The sweat factor persisted. Be it in the Indian capital, where humidity was 65 per cent on Tuesday, or deep down south, people continued to perspire.

It was a humid and hot 40 degrees in Chennai. "Coolers simply don't work here. AC sales are perhaps at their highest right now," said Deepa Krishnan, a Chennai resident.

Things were more cheerful though in hilly Shimla, which has almost lost its reputation as a perfect summer getaway for tourists.

"Oooh raindrops! My trip hasn't been in vain - and just when I was beginning to get disappointed," said Susmit Sharma, a Delhi resident who was in the Himachal Pradesh capital for a holiday.

Indeed, after hitting the hottest day in 12 years on Sunday at a maximum of 31.5 degrees, the temperature in Shimla came down to 21.2 degrees on Tuesday.