I grew up in a city where summers were sticky and the thirty plus degree heat didn’t subside even by midnight. If I turned on the tap for a glass of water, the liquid was warm. During the high humidity of summers my clothes clung to me from perspiration that stuck like sap from a tree. So Tamil Nadu’s heat would be nothing for a seasoned tropical dweller. Right?
What I couldn’t fathom was that to locals the heat didn’t seem to bother them. But in Rameswaram I learned their secret — oil baths. I had to try it because I looked and felt like a drenched potato sack. I bought gingelly oil and rubbed it into my body, then showered using soap nuts powder to wash away the access oil – an hour long process.
I couldn’t believe how refreshed this ordeal made me feel. Unfortunately, the next day it was back to square one.