Beat the heat in traditional ways

Last Updated 10 March 2019, 12:58 IST

It’s just March and the city is already reeling under the summer heat like never before. The coolers and air conditioners are running overtime, yet the respite seems shortlived.

It brings us to wonder how the older generations beat the heat without all the technology.
A little search and a lot of conversations later, we found out some ingenious methods that our elders used to stay naturally cool.

Khus curtains

Using khus (reed, like bamboo) curtains to cover windows and balconies was a sure shot method for keeping cool during summers. If sprayed with water, the cool breeze brings down the temperature inside the house.

Flooding terrace with water

Families would flood terraces with buckets of water as temperatures soared. This helped to dial down the heat.

Drenching bed sheets
Spreading slightly dampened sheets on the floor to sleep on. Imagine summers hotter than Bengaluru’s, this was a genius method indeed!

Water would be sprayed around the home

Remember that daily routine old Bengaluru homes still follow? Sprinkling water around the home and in the courtyard, it not only helped us savour the sweet fragrance of earth but also cooled the air around.

Earthen pots for storing liquids
Forget the refrigerators. Back in the day, water would be stored in earthen pots to cool it. It is an ideal summer refreshment.

Sleeping on terrace
Back in the years when neighbourhoods were close-knit and summers were welcomed like a festival, families would sleep on terraces to stay cool. As they slept under the stars, the summer breeze definitely seemed much cooler than it seems today.

Dampening the end of curtains

This method was used to give a cooling effect as the heat went up.

Natural coolers

No ice required for this. Just some buttermilk or khus juice in an earthen pot would quench your thirst. The list also comprises seasonal fruits like watermelon, cucumbers and mangoes.

Cut to the present: use technology to cool off

DIY air conditioner
Position a shallow pan filled with ice cubes in front of a table fan. The breeze will pick up cold water from the ice cube’s surface as it melts, creating a cooling mist.

Freeze the sheets
Neatly wrap the sheets in a plastic bag and place them in the freezer a few minutes before bedtime. Though this might not keep you cool all night, it sure gives you a brief respite from heat and humidity.

(Published 10 March 2019, 12:36 IST)

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