It’s official. Winter has arrived in Delhi. I declare winter to have set in when Granny brings out her warm clothes. And she has. Over the weekend, we also brought out the quilts and put them out for a sun bath in the terrace. Our youngest cat – he will experience his first winter this year – couldn’t for the life of him figure out what the warm, fuzzy things were doing sprawled all over his playground.
I love the onset of winter. The nights now come early – indeed it’s totally dark by the time I leave office. The mornings are chilly and there’s nothing as rejuvenating as a steaming hot shower and hot chocolate afterwards. On weekends, all I want to do is sit in the sunshine, nibble at oranges and watch the pigeons which are always in abundance in the house across the street from ours. The sun feels delightfully full of memories and dreams. Or that could be because it also makes me drowsy at times.
Grandpa detests winter. He says it makes him lethargic and poignant, especially when evening sets in. I tell him to focus on how it also implies less electricity – no fans, no A/C, no refrigerated beverages. That makes him feel better.
When in Pune, R and I indulge in pakoras and hot coffee and talk about winter in Northern India. “You’ll never agree that it does get cold in Pune.” R usually complains. “You could at least wear a stole.” I promise him I will; I rarely do. Pune ain’t cold. Sometimes though, a stray gust of wind brings along a long-forgotten memory of winter back in Delhi – feasting on groundnuts with Mom, warming water for a hot-bag, putting up Christmas decorations all over the house. Then, I usually hold onto R and entrust the warmth of his words with helping me ward off the cold.
The year will soon come to a close. The world will glitter another time with lights and festivities. Mom will put on her white, woolen cap and ask me to open the gifts Santa left for me under the tree. A part of me will forever be Mom’s wide-eyed, happy daughter who got a fluffy dog and a set of books for Christmas. Though rooted in a time I can never return to, that is the only part of me that feels alive.