Winter Memories From India
About Winter Season
Winter is a very beautiful season to enjoy and narrate your experiences to your children and friends who may not reside in winter regions, especially. The nature all around us looks very beautiful and aesthetic with snowfalls and fog and mist. It is a season of enjoyment for young and newly married couples who want to experience it to their full excitement and satisfaction. But it is even more exciting to children who can't resist themselves from playing with the snow and sledding on the ice.
But, sometimes, winter can be a great chaotic situation when there are cold winds with extremely cold conditions prevailing around you and if you are in lack of proper winter clothes.
Purpose of This Article on Winter
I lived for more than 30 years in cold regions of Uttar Pradesh of India while employed in a Cement Factory. I experienced very nice moments of life with beautiful nature surrounding our colonies there. So, I wanted to put all my memories in writing so that my friends and children can read them and also for sharing those memories with all of you. I got this idea from a writing challenge issued by one of our nice writers at HubPages named Jacky Lynnley.
My Childhood Winter
Winter in my childhood was exciting during the period mid-December to full January. It used to be very chilly even though the temperature never went down 12 degrees in Chennai of Southern India. One of our important festival Makar Sankranti falls during this period for full one month up to 15th of January. On 13th January, it is celebrated as Bhogi which is a thanksgiving to Lord Indra (the in charge of clouds and rains) for giving timely rains in abundance resulting in a good harvest.
So, we get up early morning at 4:30 am and burn fires in front of houses with harvest waste, old clothes, dry woods, etc. We keep shivering with chill and cold, trying to warm up ourselves with the flames of the fire. I was a shy boy while other friends used to dance and play small two-headed drums known as "Damaru" which are sold during that period to children.
Winter at my Adulthood
When I was working in the Uttar Pradesh state of India, the winter experiences were very thrilling and exciting there. Winter starts in that region during mid-October and lasts until the end of February. December and January months used to be too unbearable and bone-chilling cold with 5 to 10-degree Celsius. I had to wear the coat with one more woolen sweater or sometimes two sweaters inside the coat for attending office.
In the late evening hours we used to stroll a bit in the lanes of the colony even in that extreme cold to have some extra enjoyment, sometimes with other families and at times only we two. After a stroll in the cold, the thrill becomes more extreme in sleeping. For sleeping, we had to protect ourselves with a combination of cotton stuffed three-layered blankets (known as razai or bedquilt) and woolen blankets.
Weekends and holidays used to bring extra joy to us as we plan picnics and enjoy preparing some foodstuffs known as baati chokha or litti chokha. These items are prepared with wheat flour mixed into a hard dough and baked in round or flat shapes. Sometimes they are filled with some stuff like vegetables or cooked and ground pulses and spices, lentils, etc. The littis are normally baked directly on burnt wood ash whereas baatis are fried in oil. These items are prepared in open places, all the members giving some helping hand like burning of fire, the collection of wood, mixing of the dough and preparing spices and vegetables, making the round balls or flat baati with dove, baking litti, cooking etc. - all this done enjoying music or gossiping. Those days used to be very entertaining and pleasant memories.
I spent 30 years there along with my family; sometimes enjoying and at other times suffering the cold. But my routine used to be the same, whether it is cold, heat or rain. I never allowed my routine to change.
Popular Winter Recipes
My Winter Experiences at Present
Presently, I feel winter nominal here in Hyderabad city of India, It rarely goes below 12-degree Celsius here. During the daytime, there is no need for wearing woolen clothes. Early morning, I experience some cold but not much problematic. I use warm water to bathe. There is fog during mornings, sometimes with cool air and the fog keeps dense on some days hindering the visibility on the streets.
During nights, I have to wear the woolen sweater and cover myself with thick, large bed sheet for sleep. At times, I experience cold in my sleep which keeps me uneasy for some time. But, after some time, I get deep sleep and do not bother.