I am out and out a winter girl. Maybe it is to do with the fact that I was born in November during a particularly cold year. Or maybe it is because I am from Madikeri where the winter is harsh and incredibly, almost starkly beautiful. Now Bangalore has famous weather, but my only grouse is that the winters here are a huge puff! It starts off so slow you hardly notice, fizzles a bit, threatens to grow colder, and then, just when you begin to think it might get cold and nice, one morning the sun is all bright and shiny and summer descends to torture the life out of me. I hate Bangalore for not having good winters.
That said, for the record, this morning looks promising. I don’t see the sun as yet and with the fan on, the recreated winter in my room brings back days many years ago, in that paradise of mine.
My hatred of getting up early in the morning continues. It was all the more worse when I had to wake up for school. My room back home was a cozy one overlooking a hedge which was (and still is) home to several rat snakes who sun themselves in the afternoon. One would often slip into my room and create a flurry around the house. But then, those are tales for another day.
So my cozy room, the best in the entire house (but of course!), sprawled across my bed under my favourite red and black velvet blanket and some others, I hated every morning. But once I managed to wipe sleep off my eyes, every morning was a new marvel. It was too cold to stand on the veranda, but through the window, you could just see one plain screen of mist, so much sometimes that it was hard to see few feet ahead of you. Sometimes we would open the door and the mist, grateful for a new place to settle in, would waft in, gliding along with the cold breeze.
After about ten o’clock, the mist would slowly clear and on some days, the sun would be out. We would have been so cold by then that despite knowing that the sun and the wind would spell disaster for the skin, we would be sunning ourselves to the point of nearly getting burnt. Maybe that it why I rarely get sun-tanned; much to the envy of others. The mountain air must have done some good, unless I am roasting in the sun for more than half a day at a stretch, my skin is sun-happy.
Cold creams, litres of moisturisers don’t help there. Even if you are decked in wools and caked under creams and lotions, your knees and cheekbones and elbows will still crack. Oh goodness, I miss all that! One year I remember, we had such a long monsoon and a longer winter that we didn’t see the sun for months on end that year. By the end of it, we all had had wrinkles all over. Another year, it got so extremely cold in December that we had to actually carry hot coals into every room in the house.
Nothing beats the joy of getting wrapped in sweaters and boots and walking into the mist. And again, for the record, I hate Bangalore for not being cold enough.
Winter, for all its worth, looks like it has begun. For the ghoulish nightmare that 2008 and most of 2009 was, November, my favourite month, is looking nice, despite everything new, despite the skeletons of the old.
My morning walks are proving to be a delight; I have started writing again; there are plans to start running soon; green tea is proving to be a blessing; my soul is thanking me already for waking up to its needs. New friends, new understanding of who are not friends, or family...There are still many ripples that need to be soothed. But it is winter. And for better or for worse, the seasons will change.
I must quote here, Ann Trason who said, with reference to running, that “It hurts up to a point and then it doesn't get any worse.” I find that it applies to life as well.