“Days are short, nights are long
When we start enjoying winters, they are gone”
How ironic are above lines? But how true they are, Indian winters are too short, they actually start during end of November and are gone by first week of February.
In 25 years of my stay in Northern India I have witnessed various flavours of winters. You must be thinking why I am specifically mentioning Northern India, it is because here it is where the actual winter exists. In rest other parts of country they have pleasant climate but no jittery winters.
The Northern most part of the country near the Himalayan ranges are the places with extreme winters. I have spent my 3 winters in one of those places, thanks to my Alma Mater to be there in one of those places. Here you have to wear layers and layers of clothes. I remember wearing four layers all the time even while sleeping. Burning heaters and blowers are a must for these places and places like Kashmir have Kanger which is kept beneath their traditional clothing called Phiran(it is a type of overcoat) to keep cold at bay. Central heating system are still not very popular in India, so people still go by old methods.
I always loved winters, the foggy winters, where you can’t see the home next to yours.
Where on New Year’s Eve we use to yell Happy New Year from our hostel gate and in reply we use to get many I love you from boy’s hostel. I loved jogging in winters, where you run without knowing where you are heading. But the most lovable thing of Indian winter is the delicious food.
The hot stuffed parathas with lot of home-made white butter can make you hungry anytime. The delicious gajar ka halawa (carrot pudding) is a must in every home during winters.
You can keep on eating roasted peanuts until someone stops you.
The juicy oranges feel yummier when you eat them under the sunshine. In my native place they have a dish made out of big lemons which is loved by everyone who has taste for sweet and sour things.
You start having multiple cups of hot teas. Cornflour chapattis with green veggies (saag in Hindi) is delectable. Everything being served would be hot except the freezing cold ice-creams.
I never knew that in hill station people have this crazy yearning until I became part of it. In fact after snowfall people eat fallen ice with jaggary. But it may sound weird yet it tastes wonderful.
In our country people love to be together and winters make it more possible. Every family snuggles inside one quilt and enjoy their time together. People meet and sit beside fire on roadsides doing double tasks of gossiping and beating the cold. You will see women knitting sweaters on their balconies. I still remember how many colorful and gorgeous sweaters my mother knitted for me. They have more warmth because they are dipped in love’s warmness.
So dear people before it vanishes for another year, let’s cherish the glowing beauty of leaving winters.
“Let me one more time look at you, with a heart full of love, dear
Let me keep you safe in my memory for another year”