At the onset of winters I hear a few people comment with a wry face that winters make them sad and forlorn. On the other hand, I love winters. Why? There are so many reasons. I look around and see Mother Nature laughing in the riot of happy colours of flowers. The yellow and orange Marigold, the Chrysanthemums in white, maroon and yellow, the Hollyhock and the Larkspur nod their heads, greeting one and all. They are a treat to the eyes. And the trees are lit up with bright leaves. There is no dull moment. Nature is busy celebrating life. I like winters because one does not hear the whirring of the fans and the silent humming of the Air-conditioners. No closing doors after every second. You can breathe in fresh air. Winters are environment friendly too. The cars become comfortable and the ride in the car does not remain an ordeal as in the summer months.
For Indians who enjoy food, well, winters offer delicacies to keep your body warm. It is an unforgettable sight to see vendors with their fantastic ware of groundnuts, gachak and jaggery. The hot clay pot that they keep on the groundnuts to keep them warm emanates just the right kind of heat to make the groundnuts crisp and ready to eat. People sitting by bonfires and enjoying a chat makes you believe that technology has not eaten into everyone’s life. For the fortunate ones like you and me, snuggling into one’s favourite spot with a book in hand is the ultimate luxury. Of course, the tea, coffee and pakoras make their way towards you too. Well, we are generous people who don’t believe in saying ‘no’.
As the days grow shorter, people complain that they have to be indoors for a longer time. For me, it is spending time with myself and my family. As people settle into their homes early every evening, a calm descends. There is a stillness in the air that lets you sit and think peacefully. The commotion slows down and gives a respite to the tired souls. For me, it is a time to introspect. As I go for my walk, with the early evening Sun warming my back or throwing its soft rays on my face, I feel refreshed. As I look in the direction of the Sun, it is not as harsh as the summers. Its reddish orange glow offers hope for the next day. The birds chirp as they too, have to retire early for the day. They frolic around making the most of the daytime. As winter reaches its peak, one comes to the end of a year. Living through another winter means we have lived another year well. It also means that we are gearing up to say goodbye to yet another eventful year of our lives and to say ‘welcome’ to the next year.
So, children, pick up a book, go to that cozy corner with your favourite blanket and cuddle up. You will remain out of harm’s way and make your parents smile as they remember their childhood and the happy winters they spent with their parents and grandparents. Happy snuggling!