Thursday, March 31, 2011

The Mysterious Chill

On one winter night of 2010, I was driving from Jalahalli (my in-laws place) to Jayanagar (my place) at about 9 pm in my two wheeler. It was still early for the night and hence I did not expect it to be chilly. Therefore I refused to wear jacket when offered by my wife who was then staying at her mother’s place.

Imagine my surprise when – after about 10 minutes drive - I suddenly felt real chilly. I started regretting having refused the jacket. I was astonished about the ferocity of the winter even at 9 pm and I reflected that I had underestimated the wind factor combined with the wintry cold. However, there was nothing much that I could do and hence I drove on.

Ten minutes later, the chill was gone and it remained so for the rest of the journey. The temperature was normal, average and bearable – something that Bangalore is so famous for. This too surprised me. How can the winter night increase and decrease its temperature in a matter of minutes? Common sense tells that the temperature drops as dusk turns to night and increases as dawn turns to day.

So, while I was still driving, I started thinking that perhaps it was the environment that was causing the temperature fluctuations. The road where I felt most chill was BEL road, the stretch between M S Ramaiah Hospital and C V Raman Road. This particular stretch is one of the best roads in Bangalore. It still has the old Bangalore charm with its arching canopy of massive trees covering the complete road for over a mile. Its like being in the middle of a forest!

Once I passed this stretch, it was pretty much a tree-free zone (thanks to road widening projects which have axed so many trees in Bangalore) and I was amidst the traffic for miles together. So, the chilly effect in BEL Road was accentuated by the trees and the chill in the tree-free zone was offset by the traffic pollution.

Once more, like so many times in the past, I rued trees getting axed in Bangalore due to its burgeoning population. The above episode is a classic example of global warming. More people means more vehicles which mean less space on road which leads to trees getting axed which leads to an overall increase in temperature which melts the ice in Arctic and Antarctic Poles which increases the overall sea water which will then start swallowing coastal cities and the population therein which spells disaster. Sigh. The vicious circle. Hopefully the Metro will stop the tree felling.

I reached Jayanagar and my musings stopped. Well, something to occupy the mind for the hour long drive…

No comments: