Those ’90s Things: When the Seat Under the Fan Was Reserved for the Family’s Most Important Member

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Those ’90s Things: When the Seat Under the Fan Was Reserved for the Family’s Most Important Member

Illustration: Shruti Yatam

E

ver since the advent of modern air-conditioning and staggering Diwali discounts, the AC has become the fourth member of what was once a threesome of middle-class roti, kapda, and makaan. And now we can’t imagine a life without an AC in our homes, offices, or cars. Even though most of us grew up at a time where we were hardly exposed to the pleasures of an AC set to a sweet 20 degrees.

Growing up in the ’90s, when I was a clammy teenager, the only way to beat the manic Mumbai heat was to make do with a bucket (or two if there are no water cuts) of cold baths, then lie diagonally under a ceiling fan wearing a pair of old boxers and voila… you felt like the king of the world again. Mama would sweat it out in the kitchen and would be relieved only once she sat right under the fan. After dad returned from a hard day’s work, he’d sit under the fan, take a deep breath, and ask me for a glass of water. When I’d come home angry, after getting into a fist-fight with friends, mama would make me sit under the fan so that I could “cool down”. It is only logical then that the fan was treasured. Twice a year – ahead of Easter and Christmas – it was carefully taken apart to have its gears and bearings greased.

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