Sandeep Krishnan says with a chuckle that these days, he looks forward to going to work. “I get to escape the sun and be in the cool interiors of my office. I know that isn’t a solution to beat the blistering heat. But what to do? Stepping out of office to even to go to the next building is unthinkable,” says the techie.
Techies too have their share of difficulties even though they work in air-conditioned cabins. “Moving in and out of the air-conditioned offices poses a lot of issues. I have been dealing with severe cold and sinusitis because of this change in temperature,” says Mahesh Jayan of InApp Information Technologies.
An avid biker, Mahesh says that he had a tough time when he rode the Thovala-Mundanthurai-Thenkasi route. “That particular trip was an acid test for me and a friend. We must have consumed nearly 10 litres of water during the journey and yet didn’t have to stop anywhere to use the toilet! The trip exhausted us. We developed heat rashes as well,” says Mahesh.
He, however, plans to continue his bike expeditions, albeit with some precautions. “I don’t trust the quality of water available in local eateries. So, I carry mineral water with me and ask the vendors to make juice using that water,” he says.
Priyanka Ann Mathew too has stopped drinking water from outside. “I now bring two bottles of water to office. I have cut down on my outings. The heat takes a toll on my skin, especially when I step out of my office. I have also started consuming more fruits,” she says.
Ginu Geo, working with IBS, says that she no longer steps out of her office during lunch hours. “Usually, many of us gather under the roofed Nila Atrium to have lunch. But that has stopped now because of the oppressive heat. Also, we all no longer take those customary tea breaks. Who wants to have tea in this heat?” she says.
She has also become more or less a vegetarian for the time being. “I usually can’t do without a non-vegetarian side dish. But since foods rich in proteins are bound to increase body temperature, I am getting used to having vegetarian meals,” she adds. Meanwhile, Sujith KJ, a techie-cum-co-owner of a juicery, points out that orders for smoothies and fruit boxes have shot up over the last month.
Then there are others like Parvathy Somanath of Qburst Technologies, a model, who are taking extra care of their body. She has become watchful about dehydration and heat rashes. “It takes just three minutes on my two-wheeler to reach my office, but even then, I cover myself head to toe, and wear socks, gloves and sunglasses. Otherwise, I get headaches or boils. As for my modelling assignments, outdoor shoots have come down. Since make-up comes off easily because of the heat, I have to keep spraying the toner. I have also started using organic cosmetics,” says Parvathy. She has cut down on her non-vegetarian intake, especially chicken and eggs, and has started eating more vegetables.
Meanwhile, there are techies like Vishal Menon, who now use company cab to come to office. Earlier, he covered the 21 km from his home at Vattiyoorkavu to Technopark and back, on his bike. “I used to enjoy the ride, which usually took 45 minutes. Not any more,” he says.
Deepak Sen B, who used to commute by train daily from Varkala to Kazhakuttam, has started using his car. “My train is at 7.15 am and it takes over an hour to reach here. The heat becomes unbearable by that time, especially in passenger trains, which are crowded. Commuting becomes exhausting on Fridays and Mondays,” he says. Even travelling by car has its inconveniences. “You sweat in spite of putting on the AC. Also, I have to shell out at ₹6,000 to ₹7,000 on fuel a month, whereas it comes to just ₹150 or ₹200 when I am using the season ticket in train,” he adds.
Another catch is that those who come by car have to scramble for parking space. “Unless you are an early bird, you don’t get the space to park,” says Ginu. In addition, many companies send circulars to their employees about precautions to be taken during summer. In-house magazines also focus on the topic.
A fortnightly column on life in tech street