It was still only July, not yet August, the month of contradiction. In August, mornings were unbearably liquid, the air dense, tempers threadbare; wives and paratha-makers and jilapi-fryers laboured over breakfasts, and children woke from damp sheets and wiped their faces in limp, furry towels. And then, at some mysterious hour between noon and dusk, the sky would hold its breath and the tempers worsen, as the air stopped around people's throats, not a stir, everything still as buildings, and there was a hush, interrupted only by the whine of the city dwellers, lunching, probably, or just tossing and turning on matresses, debating whether it was hotter to stay still or to move; women with sinking make-up fanned their faces, men with bulging cheeks fanned their necks. But, after the stillness, after the gathering of clouds and the darkness, there was the exultant, joyous rain, sweet water that jetted violently, and scratchy, electric thunder, and exclamations of lightning. Altogether, a parade of weather, a feat for the hot, the tired; and every day there was one small boy, or a very old man, or even a dog, who would look up a tht esky and wait for the first fat drop with his tongue outstretched, his face full of hope, all knowledge of the morning entirely forgotten.