It is everywhere. A film of dust settles on everything — the tv screen, the dining room table and even the mesh on the windows. I wipe a surface clean and barely a minute later the dust has returned to form a blanket. Dusting in Hyderabad seems to be an exercise in futility, and I try not to jump up every time I see a bit of dust. ‘I will not dust more than once a day,’ I tell myself. But the sight of it niggles and I am up and about dusting again. The dust is even in the cloth I use to clean, it is everywhere. I lay my phone down on the table for a few minutes and the clean black screen is layered with a fine powdery dust.
Sometimes I find myself thinking about the dust, wondering how much sand it consists of and how much of it is dead skin cells? This thought makes me slightly ill. I talk about the dust with other people I know in the city and we discuss how the aridness and dryness of the area makes everything dusty. When I am eating or drinking water I feel the dust at the back of my tongue, in my throat. This could just be my imagination but it feels slightly prickly and seems to dry out my mouth, I have taken to drinking water constantly throughout the day.
I draw the curtains so that I can’t see the dust on the corner of the coffee table or on the books that line the shelves. I long for humidity, I long for rain– anything to wash the dust away.