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10 Things You Miss About Winter in Kashmir When You Move Out.
By Areez Ahmad
Of the countless things that we miss about Kashmir when we move out, winter definitely takes the cake. From the snowmen in every single lawn to the steaming cups of nun chai, there’s something that’s just so heart-warming about the chill that makes you long for it when you’re far. Here are 10 things that we miss about winter in Kashmir when we move out:
1- Wannde palaw
Each year, come mid-October, you’d revamp your wardrobe to load it with your precious stock of winter wear. Out went the light tees and in came fluffy sweaters and comfy sweats stacked in cozy piles. Not to forget that one black jacket that took your swag to another level.
2- Your Pheran
Your pheran was your ultimate saviour in the chill. You could practically wear it on top of anything and leave the house and no one would have a clue of the 10 layers you’d worn underneath. Playing Thakur while putting your arms inside to grip the kangri is something we all loved doing.
3 - Checking the Weatherman’s Report
You’d eagerly flip through the newspaper every single day to check for any forecast of snow. You’d excitedly announce the lowest fall in temperature for the week (or the freezing of the Dal Lake when it did) - your anticipation rising with each degree fall in the mercury.
4- The Snow
You’d jump straight to the window once out of bed, to check for any signs of white in your lawn. And then nothing would beat the feeling of waking up to a snow-covered world. From making the first footprints in freshly fallen snow to building snowmen of all sizes with arms of twigs and eyes of coal, snow was undoubtedly the highlight of the season. You’d indulge in massive snow fights - shinne junng- with your siblings and friends and hope to win. Making your personal snow ice-cream with milk and sugar, or reaching out the window for the icicles hanging from your roof, required tremendous skill. You had to watch out for mom.
Winter wasn’t winter without harissa. You’d impatiently sit around freshly baked kaander girrda’s, drooling at the very idea of the treat. The tender mutton would melt its way in your mouth and you’d then top it with a cup of nun chai. Your tongue hasn’t tasted anything so heavenly ever since.
6 - The Hamaam
Come winter, a corner of your lawn was occupied with stacks of fresh firewood- the zyunn. You’d spend hours watching TV in your luxuriously carpeted hamaam, warmth seeping into your bones. The crisp crackles of the wood were enough to light up your heart.
You’d brace yourself for the 40 days of the harshest cold. It wasn't possible to stay outside for more than 10 minutes without your fingers and toes threatening to fall off. You loved seeing your breath cloud in front of your face. Pretending to smoke and red noses were such joyful things.
Closure of the national highway would make you realise why your mom had been drying strips and strings of vegetables all through summer. You’d relish chunky alle haich, ruwaangan haich and other dried vegetables with meals. Mom’s dash of the traditional spicy ‘werr’ made everything taste so delectable.
9- Annoying Power Cuts
No matter how much you hated the ‘waeyir’ or turn, or cursed the PDD, power cuts were golden times when the entire family would sit together huddled in one room. You’d sneak your cold feet onto the kangri in mom’s pheran and make a hundred memories.
10- The Slow Life
Most of all you miss the lazy days and long nights. Diving into your warm bed early at night and never wanting to leave it till late morning was something you’d give anything for. Being now caught up in a busy routine, the 3 month long winter vacation and the sluggish life is what you miss the most.
Srinagar , Kashmir
The author is a pass out from Presentation Convent High School, Srinagar, and is currently pursuing MBBS.
© 2016 CKashmir