Winters were fabulous. I woke up some days and just told ma it was too cold, and she’d let me skip school. Then, I’d wake up at 10, sit in front of the TV wrapped in a quilt and eat rusk dipped in hot milk. Some days, I’d have jalebis with milk.
School was even more interesting, because wearing sweaters – being warm – was uncool. So we wrapped them around our waists and frolicked out in the friendly afternoon sun, only to find that our parents weren’t amused. Right back on went the sweaters.
On really cold days, I couldn’t bathe in the morning, so mum would insist we bathe at night. I’d be scrubbing myself with foamy soap and shampoo and treating myself to shivers between mug -fulls of hot water, while mum would lay the blue balnket with yellow and white moons and stars out on the bed and get it ready for us(me and my sister) to jump in immediately. The heater would be sitting there blowing warm air into the blanket and I’d purposely hop into bed from in front of it, just to catch the draft. Then ma would come with a plateful of food I either hated or loved. Either way, I’d have to eat it; there was never an option. Of course, mum would make the bite herself first, which made it quite a mouthful anyway: the roti, the vegetables, dipped in daal and curd. It was glorious, each time. I can still taste the bhindi and the the dahi and the chapati and the ghee…
Winters were brilliant. One loses so much without the seasons. There is so much lesser to care about, to love, to hate, to curse, to be. You can’t have a favourite season unless you have seasons. Without a favourite season, the year, the years, they just pass anonymously by. Characterless and ordinary, without an all-time low temperature, or sweaty days with flies, or stormy rains with yellow clouds and torrential winds… Such speed-breakers, they were. Hate these highways. What the heck’s at the end that’s so important?