(W)ery Wintry

I feel a slight chill touching the tip of my nose. I shiver and snuggle further into the warmth of my bed. I remember I forgot to shut my window last night before getting into bed. Later on, I got too lazy to get up and close it.

After some fifteen odd minutes of pushing myself to wake up, I am finally up. Making my way to the balcony to reach for the daily newspaper, my eyes are pleasantly startled to see the city enveloped in a clear and dewy white blanket. On starry summery nights, I would sit on the parapet for hours watching beaming flashlights of the motors waltzing on the charcoal dotted with white stripes, listening to a radio set that belonged to my Grandfather.

I stand there for a minute to sense the prickling on my cheeks. I can see a tiny flame through the translucent cover. It must be the dutiful school guard who would have built a small fire before the scuttling school kids initiate his routine and their noisy chatters resound in the entire neighbourhood.

Quickly capturing a headline or two, I leave the newspaper just as it is on my messy bed and head for my wardrobe. That’s all I can gather of the news on a normal day. Breaking my New Year resolution in the first week of the year, I am late, yet again. Well, not being on time for college becomes a regular phenomenon in winters for me. I miss her. I remember how I used to feel the touch of her soft lips on my skin, before her sweet callings from the kitchen took the shape of irritated tones when I took long to wake up.

Hurriedly I grab a tea while looking for an auto from Tinu Tea Shop, the local chai wallah. I share a smile with him and pat fat Hero as he lay snuggled at the foot of the stall, undisturbed by the early morning chaos. I brought Hero when he was a puppy last winter. I found him eating rubbish in the trash can behind my house. Alarmed by the gate that creaked, the afraid little thing looked up. His head adorned with a banana peel like crown, he looked cold. I could see his ribs so starkly that since that day, I decided to call him, Hero as he braved the chill. After a few months, when he was capable of handling himself, I gave him to Tinu.

Once the auto took speed, the breeze sent shudders down my spine. I chuckle to myself at the sight of funnily dressed Bollywood star stickers on each side of the frost clad rear view mirror. At a traffic light, a flock of pigeons peck on grains that some kind soul feeds them with daily. While crossing a small market place, I see a petty trader doing a small ritual before opening his shop. Going further muffled up school girls chit chat merrily. Perhaps they are bunking as its well past normal school time.

Every morning the half an hour journey that I undertake to college is different from the previous. It has so much to offer and makes me learn and absorb new things. People say winters are grey, rough and drab. But for me, winters are truly magical. They are clean, pure and beautiful. As if each dawn that breaks white washes the entire city, and with the sunlight that filters through the fog thicket, all entities rejuvenate and come alive. I wake up each day to experience a different experience.

Twisha Sharma

Image Source: [http://www.flickr.com/photos/dobrych/4028696949/]