AC grill problem solved!
The curiosity of that grill outside the AC unit (see post from a couple of days back) eventually got the better of me and I decided to walk into a stranger’s house to get the story straight from the horse’s mouth.
Against my brother-in-law’s advice (who is anything but adventurous), a couple of days back I walked into the house and rang the bell. An elderly gentleman (slightly younger than my dad, perhaps) opened the door. All I told him is that my dad lives in the building behind and without any further questions, he invited me in. I was a little uncomfortable accepting so much hospitality, so I suggested that we sit in the balcony – since I had a simple question for him.
He opened by asking after my dad’s health. One thing led to the other and I was struck by his kindness, hospitality and intellectual curiosity. Before I knew it, we were talking about his time spent in Kashmir during two wars (he is an ex-Air Force pilot), about his dad who was posted in Assam in tea estates and how his dad built the house 52 years back. Found out his two sons and daughter are all spread out far and wide (including abroad); his brother lives upstairs and he lives with his wife downstairs.
Our deep discussion on why war is simply a matter of political policy was going great guns (in between, his wife had already given us a cup of tea) when I was rudely awakened by a call from my sister saying it was lunch time and I need to come home soon.
I thanked him and walked back home marveling at his career and experience. I had almost entered our building when I realized something. So, I ran back (it was only thirty seconds) and again rang the bell. This time I told him that I completely forgot to ask him the question for which I had come the first time to begin with!!
He seemed to believe that his brother put in the grill (the AC is on second floor) to protect the AC from sunlight. He thought that direct sunlight would harm the compressor. When I pointed out that why not go for a solid structure instead of a grill with holes, he answered the grill diffuses the light enough. I thanked him again and came back.
I now think Kuntal was right. Some overzealous sales guy made some quick bucks from an ignorant customer.