My Winter Memories (A humble attempt at Jackie Lynnley challenge)
After much hesitation and prolonging, I thought of giving an attempt to the prompt & encouragement given by Jackie Lynnley for writing a hub on Winter Memories. So, here I go with my vague memories and (below quality) narration of my winter experiences. I even do not have any photos to share my experiences of winter, which is a great drawback for me. Anyhow, I want to try to please be with me in my humble attempt.
Winter is a very beautiful season to enjoy and narrate. 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.
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 incharge of clouds and rains) for giving timely rains in abundance resulting in 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 Uttar Pradesh state of India, the winter experiences were very thrilling and exciting there. Winter starts in that region during mid October and lasts till 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 woollen 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 woollen blankets.
Weekends and holidays used to bring extra joy to us as we plan picnics and enjoy preparing some food stuffs known as baati chokha or litti chokha. These items are prepared with wheat flour mixed into hard dough and baked in round or flat shapes. Some times 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, collection of wood, mixing of dove and preparing spices and vegetables, making the round balls or flat baati with dove, baking litti, cooking etc. - all this done enjoying music or gossipping. 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.
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 day time, there is no need for wearing woollen 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 woollen sweater and cover myself with thick, large bed sheet for sleep. At times, I experience cold in my sleep which keeps me uneasy for sometime. But, after sometime I get deep sleep and do not bother.
A funny entertaining winter song
Now I have done my part of presenting my winter memories. Thanks to Jackie Lynnley once again for encouraging me to try my part.