by a Thinker, Sailor, Blogger, Irreverent Guy from Madras

Mad Dogs, Englishmen and Indian Summer

Only Mad Dogs and Englishmen go out in the mid-day sun;
In Bangkok, at twelve o’clock, they foam at the mouth and run;
In Bengal, to move at all, is seldom, if ever done;
But mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the mid-day sun.

These are some of the lines in that 1931 immortal song ‘Mad Dogs and Englishmen’ by Noel Coward.  If you’ve never read it, it is time to do so (

If nothing else, it will make you guffaw along.

One of the excellent recording of the song is by Ray Noble & His All Star American Orchestra.  If you’ve never listened to it, it is time to do so.  If nothing else, it will make you to tap your feet along.

Whether you read the lyrics or listen to the song, you will probably remember it forever, to be recalled when someone does something, which is ‘obviously, absolutely, nuts’ - like the Englishmen in the song.

Today I saw which is one such act - obviously, absolutely nutty thing to do, in my own neighbourhood.  Before we go into it, the term ‘Indian Summer’ might mean a late autumn heat wave elsewhere, which in the West would be around July/August, while it would be around this time of the year down under in Australia.

In India, especially down south in Chennai, April to July is *summer* with temperatures hovering around and above 100 deg Fahrenheit.  In fact, Chennai experienced the hottest March in 6 years.
To get back, under such circumstances one would scarcely expect people to cut down or even prune the shade-giving, glare-preventing, noise-filtering, privacy-ensuring trees near their home.  But what do we know?  I’ve assumed the nom-de-plume mad.madrasi half in jest, but it appears there are people in Madras who are completely mad, crazy, and brainless fools.

Here are the three False Asoka trees (Genus Polyalthia longifolia) standing guard proudly in front of the apartment complex, at around 8 in the morning.


It seems ‘at twelve noon, the natives do swoon, and no further work is indeed done’, unless of course, the black deed has already been done.


The logs which we see above, were the tree trunks, cut up approx. 4 feet in length and could not be accommodated in the space between the actual building and the compound (boundary) wall.
For the record, I’ve erased all the street, house number, billboard and other identifying information, so don’t waste your time hunting for them.

My Wicked half whispers, ‘You know something?  Now I can actually associate which cute co-ed lives in which apartment by matching their yesterday’s clothes with those on the clothesline today!’

Now you tell me - cutting those trees down; was that a brainless move or not?

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