Take a Chill Pill


Posted on Dec 17, 2012 by Sulakshna Bramta Bali, Editor Taakjhaak Network

Winters have finally landed. The season to have sarson da saag and makki di roti , gacchak, moongfali and to enjoy chai pakora any time of the day. The season to flaunt long coats and stylish boots, to sun bask, to get warmth from the fire/heater and most important, to get cozy ;) .

Shimla after fresh SnowWinters have always been my favourite since childhood. Hailing from the upper Himalyan region, I have watched the chill and its effects on day today life very closely. When we were young , we slided our way to happiness on the snow, threw snow balls on the passerby,  slipped on the snow and broke few bones, made snow man with frozen hands , did not take bath for days and still looked fresh (as water was frozen and source to get it was distant)and the fight to sit next to the choolah was a daily affair. That time it meant eating food at 6.30-7.00 pm, sleep for long- long hours and gather energy  for the dhamaal  the next day.

Shifting to Shimla, changed the scenario a bit though, but winter was still the most awaited season. Imagine, schools to be closed from November end to March first week and no homework, only entertainment and fun (though later CBSE started giving projects during winter breaks but they were always made a day or two prior to joining the next class). When the choolah got replaced by hot thick fog in winterswater bottles and big room heaters. The long dark nights were cut short by the television and its various programmes including Filmfare Awards and New Year special on Doordarshan. But still, the catch was the unpredictable weather which made you wonder that, will the shimmering white sheet of snow welcome you the next morning or, the chilly waves are just trying to sing an off note lullaby.

Well, Winters had more to show, the first exposure to thick fog was a nightmare as I had great difficulty to trace the room of my friend in the hostel early morning. I thought that the hot water steam from our unit bathroom has covered the whole area. Before I could raise an alarm, help came to help me :) .But what a lovely experience it was, fighting for taking hot water from the geyser to get ready for classes, washing your own clothes with shivering hands, experiencing the chilly breeze sitting on a rickshaw / two wheeler, drinking hot coffee at the not so new ‘Barista’ and reaching back to the hostel just in time before attendance. The dresses for the parties continued to become short and the deep backs grew deeper, and still one thought people were admiring you (may be they were wondering how we were surviving in this chill).

winters and bonefireTalking about the present, I have noticed a drastic change in Winters from past some years, I mean they are either for a very short span or stay for a long time, either they are super chilly or just perform average. I think Winters have become more fluctuating as they are fully aware of the availability of devices used by people to get the cover and stay away.Those who do not prepare well (mainly underprivileged) bid adieu to life and become news material.

Whatever course of action the Winters decide this year and how much hard-hitting it is going to be for all of us, I am pretty sure, the smart WE, like every year will have cozy contrivances to save ourselves from its wrath and enjoy ( not hibernate) the Chill. Happy Winters!!!!!

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