Thursday 25 September 2008

Coming of the winters...


Chill is in the air. Rather surprising considering that it is just September. But this year Delhi's weather has been so unpredictable that we are not really amazed. Right now it feels just like November.
This time reminds me of all things winter...bringing out the winter clothes and blankets, airing them, the initial strong smell of naptholene on them and then gradually after the airing a lingering faint smell, first lot of oranges and cauliflowers and the rest of the seasonal vegetables flocking the markets, smell of fresh coriander...the list goes on and on.
As a kid, winters meant multiple things. The thing thatI hated/hate about winter was/is getting up in the morning. Even now I hate to let go of my blanket and step away from my cosy bed. I procastinate till the very last moment possible.
Another strong memory is that of my grandmother and mother going wool shopping and then starting to knit. I was always facinated with wool shopping, I loved touching the soft wool balls and feating on the vibrant colours. There would be a new pattern which would be doing the rounds that season. During winter mom would be carrying her knitting around and whenever she would get some free time she would take out her neddles and wool balls and start off.
An important compotent of winter was the food. My mother would be drying orange peel and then make cakes with them. My dad would bring marmalade home and then for the next few days my brother and me, we would have hot toast and marmalade till we got throughly bored. Then fresh seasonal vegetables would be cooked. Ma would make different varieties of stews (veggie and fish etc), salads, soups, paranthas, and palak paneer and other such yummy stuff. While writing this I can almost smell the fresh coriander sprinkled on food.
Another lovable memory is going for picnics to the zoo, or a garden house which once belonged to our family. The whole family with cousins, uncles, aunts would set off in four/five cars with loads of food. There would always be some confusion on the way, some car would get lost, or someone would forget the way. This was the time before mobile phones. So the rest of the cars would stop somewhere and wait for the other one to catch up. While the other one, totally oblivious of having caused concern, would suddenly zoom past, some cousin would notice, then people who had got out to strech their legs would be hurriedly get back in and then we would all start to follow the other car. Those good ol' days :)
Winter in Delhi is rather different. For one it is much more colder than Kolkata. With winter coming my tea drinking shoots up drastically. From barely a cup a day I drink about seven to eight cups of green tea through out the day. Also this is the best time to explore Delhi, go visit the various monuments and bazaars and basically enjoy the city. A bad thing that happens is that I keep getting really late for office, because I can hardly get up in the morning.
But then like the rest of our lives, even winter has a bit of good and a bit of bad.

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