After some short-lived pleasant months, the heat is now upon us! Conventionally, summers are regarded as a time for leisure, beaches, sports and a sun-kissed body. However, if you live in Bombay, you can be assured that unless you are conscientious about your daily sunblock, sun-kissed isn’t as much the case as it is sun-smooched. Moreover, to keep your body cool, now more than ever, you will find yourself craving refreshing and soothing drinks. Our options are ample—ranging from fruit smoothies to milkshakes to sorbets to cocktails and juices.

Locally sourced and severely undervalued, coconut water, also known as Nariyal Pani is simple, humble, down-to-earth; almost dorky. Think of it as a relationship partner who is giving, loving and caring but not one that you would consider glamorous or cool. From a health perspective, it offers a nutrient profile that is so rich that it could put Antilia to shame. Yet somehow, it always stays on the sidelines like a docile, timid little Indian girl who goes unnoticed only because she has no sense of self-worth or any idea how powerful she could be.

Store-bought juice, on the other hand, is attractive looking on the outside, but shallow and self-involved on the inside. We could think of it as a partner who is lying, conniving, deceiving and manipulative. I say this because it is often sold under the pretext of being ‘real’ or ‘skinny.’ One look at the nutrient label and the ingredient list is enough to tell us how unreal it is. As for skinny, that bit is true. The juice is skinny, that is to say, deprived of nutrients and loaded up on sweeteners, preservatives and artificial colorings instead.

The point I am trying to make is simple. You could have a one-off fling with store-bought juice if you wish but a long-term, mutually fulfilling relationship? That would have to be with coconut water.