Vantage point

Sunday, January 19, 2003

So it is official! The winter this year is the worst winter that Uttar Pradesh has seen in some three decades or so. The people at the meteorological department, having nothing better to do, but shiver in their thermals wondering if anyone could teach them about weather, dug out some old records and decided that instead of comparing the minimmum temperatues for each day, why not just compare the maximum temperatures? You know, for the sake of variety. You know, the old jungle saying, "Give a meteorologist a computer and time series data, and he'll come up with the most fantastic results".

The old jungle saying was proved true. The mets concluded that though in terms of the minimum temperature, the weather was not too different from other years (they are used to having mind hovering near the subzero marks!), in terms of the maximum, this was the worst year in three decades. For something close to three weeks now the maximum had not crossed 12 or something, and that according some definition (maybe derived from another old jungle saying!) was a 'cold wave' (brilliant!! I couldn't have guessed I was in a cold wave). Not only was it a cold wave, but, as I can not tire myself repeating, was the worst in three decades, because the max's had always been in the late teens or the early twenties (somewhat like first time criminals).

This dip in the maximums (maxima??) has ensured that there is no respite from the cold throughout the day.

Now as I have said before I don't believe in god. Assuming I am wrong, and there is God, I can imagine him doubling up in laughter right now. This is what he must be saying -
"So you don't believe in me, eh? First I put you an an IIM in Uttar Pradesh, instead of Gujarat, Bengal or Karnataka. Then I make sure the monsoon fails in U.P. making it the worst summer in six decades, with the max's close to 50 and the min's near 35 or so. After that I give you the worst winter in three decades. All this when you have stayed most of your life in Pune, a city known for its moderate temperature throughout the year. Go on, be an atheist. See what I do next year."