For the past few days, Samina Tabassum has been downing at least four glasses of juice a day from roadside stalls.
Just four days into the month, the maximum temperature in Mumbai touched 36 degree Celsius on Saturday. It’s perfectly normal for this time of year. But like always, the city waits for sunlight after three dreary months only to shrink from the searing October heat.
“I cannot do without sherbets in this climate. They are ideal for Mumbaikars on the move,” said Tabassum who drinks juices to avoid dehydration.
The monsoon has receded from most of north India and would start withdrawing from Mumbai from the second week of October, the weather department said.
“Wind patterns have started changing, flowing from hot areas such as Madhya Pradesh, Vidarbha and Nagpur. So temperatures in the city will stay high,” said R.V. Sharma, deputy director general, western region of the India Meterological Department.
“But once the sun starts moving to the southern hemisphere, the northern parts of the country will experience cold winds that will eventually spread to Mumbai.”
Until that happens, Shilpa Shah, a homemaker is bracing for rising electricity bills. “We have not been able to sleep without the air conditioner,” she said.
But you can cut down on using the air conditioner by cutting down the sunlight that enters your home. You could apply a coating of a special film on the inside of your windows, line your curtains with black-out lining or place box fans in strategic places. (See Three ways to reduce your AC consumption).
But the heat for some, such as sugarcane vendor Pradeep Bharadwaj, means good business. “While I needed only 10 to 15 kgs of ice every day during the monsoon, this month we will use at least 50 kg of ice daily,” he said.
Another vendor Premchand Gupta has seen his income rise from rising demand for his buttermilk, lassi, lime juice, flavoured drinks and sherbet.