It actually is cold in Pune. I mean, my-fingers-are-numb kind of cold. After years of arguing with R about how Pune can never compete with Delhi in the winter department, it does seem like this quaint old city is up to the competition. No, I am not complaining. In fact, I am delighted.
These days, the sun rises later than usual which means we can steal in a few extra minutes of glorious, morning sleep. The birds also wait for it to be light, so there’s no energetic birdsong to make us regret still being in bed when the world outside is bright. The quilt feels magnificent and toasty like it never has before. It’s almost like home in Delhi again, when I can smell the steaming coffee and the masala omelette while still in bed. On my way to work, I warm my hands against the sun that streams in from the windows of the bus. The sun stays with me throughout the day, his reassuring and unceasing walk around the sky telling me there’s a world beyond my computer screen.
When evening arrives, it is cold enough to indulge in some hot, chicken soup. We chat about the day over the mist and think deliciously of winter curries – chickpeas, tomatoes, spinach and…uh, chicken. The city falls asleep earlier than usual, everyone tucking into bed to watch television or read that long unfinished book. Longer nights translate into more time to rest, unwind and count your blessings. They are blessings after all – a hearty dinner, a warm bed, a good book and a loved one to snuggle up with.
As I fall asleep, I sense the stars in the sky watching over us. The fog grows denser and the potted plants in our balcony close in on each other. They, unlike me, don’t particularly enjoy these long winter nights.