It’s that time of year again. I am shopping for flights to go to India.
Sitting in a university coffee shop, I surf for the cheapest airfare, but as I scroll down the computer screen, I look out the window and see trees blooming, the sun shining, kids playing Frisbee on the grassy field. I check the temperature — it’s 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Then I look at the weather in Lucknow, my hometown in India.
It brings to mind those endless stifling afternoons that feel like they start at 9 in the morning and go on until 7 at night. It brings to mind going to bed at night and praying to god for an uninterrupted power supply, and waking up in the middle of the night, soaked in sweat, mosquitoes buzzing in my ear.
I look out the window again and think: do I really want to leave this beautiful weather in Indiana? After surviving three polar vortexes, do I want to miss the summer, the cookouts, the farmers' market, and finally being able to leave home without a heavy jacket?
But when I look at the Lucknow forecast again, 105 degrees brings another thing to my mind. Mangoes. Driving through streets lined with carts full of mangoes, the hot and heavy wind carrying the smell of the fruit. I remember holding a chilled mango, slicing it close to the seed, and looking at it with a smile before eating it. Mango season lasts for about eight weeks in India, and it happens during June and July — the hot months.
It’s not an easy decision.
I love eating mangoes and I also love not suffering in the heat.
But in the end, like every year, I am going to India.