The summer is fierce. The glare is blinding and the heat enervating.
Who ever thought the coy innocent Sun of just a few months back, hidden perpetually behind a veil of mist, would grow up to being such a merciless tyrant, punishing the thirsty earth with his arrows of raging fire.
Terra Firma pines for rain to cool her scalded self.
Some afternoons, ominous clouds do take over the heavens, threatening to blot the sun.
A battle ensues.
Dust storms blur the horizons.
For a brief moment, the breeze, so long stifled by the sun, returns to calm the heat-tormented earth.
Sometimes even a few droplets of rain are sent by the heavens to pacify the scorched earth.
But the sun is not one to be cowed, and before long he emerges, blazing in vainglorious pride, having chased the clouds away to oblivion.
Meanwhile in the kitchen, green mangoes and yoghurt have returned as undisputed heroes, the ice cream churner is working on an overdrive and buttermilk and lemonade flow freely.
When my husband returns from the local market with a treasured booty of Gondhoraj Lebu, I immediately know what I need to do to do justice to these gorgeous beauties.
Lunch today is a lebu patay katla.
Inspired by the dish Maa would stir up for lunch during punishing Karimganj summers.
A blast of refreshing citrus to cool the heat-ravaged palate.
Lebu Patay Katla.
Katla peti. Gondhoraj Lebu, three ways. A kiss of lemon juice. A sprinkle of lemon zest. And some Gondhoraj Lebu leaves crushed between your palms and thrown in.
Exactly what you need as the mercury continues her northward march unabated.