My first memory of winter must be a good 20 years ago when I saw the most beautiful white sun. It was an Uttarkashi winter sun. Winters in hills are quite enjoyable, unlike the Ganga plain, hills have sunny winter days when you can savour the true joy of dhoop sekna. Most days are like this, but then there are some which are cold, and this, the aforementioned one was such a cold one. The sun unable to break through, sat smarting behind an overarching sheet of clouds, looking like a shiny white halogen light. The clouds and the sun were, amongst the more beautiful afternoons one will see. The literal icing on the cake though, was the first snowfall in my own city. I had seen snow, many inches of it in places nearby. But, this was my 1st snowfall, that too in my own backyard. A day, I will never forget.
My second memories, belong to the last of my school days, those amazing days of class XII, when instead of being all tensed about our careers, we were a bunch of teenagers, having the best innocent fun of their lives with an amazing set of friends. In such fun times, do I place the winters of 2003-04 of Lucknow. Hard gruelling classes of preparation for IIT finished around 8. Wrapped in jackets, some of them wearing mufflers or caps, all picked up their vehicles, ranging from the TVS Scooty to the stylish lucky ones with bikes, there was only one thing on our minds, soon as the class got over. Drive from the coaching centre to our destination was hardly 5 mins, but the hands were almost freezing by the time we reached our destination, the Samose wala bhaia in front of Nabard gate. Piping hot samose with the chutney, both khatti and meethi, were the warmest of hug one could have in the cruel foggy Northern winter. A whole lot of ganging up, leofying, and occasional dose of 2nd samosa, if someone was feeling rich enough to afford it, whole lot of coins were jangled, pockets searched to come up with notes of Rs. 5 and 10 later, someone paying for the other with a grudge and an occasional abuse. Finally, brought a fulfilment to the chilly cold day. 11 years later, after being recruited to NABARD, going to the training college, finding the samose wali shop was one of the first thing I did.
Lots of living in hyd left me pining, looking and hoping for some chill every sad, silent winter night! But, my ghumakkad life, thankfully landed me up to deal with the Dilli ki Sardi. There are a lot of nights and days to be remembered, yet the most memorable would be the first day of 2013. 31st December 2012 was a wild drunk night, the morning after was full of headaches and black tea along with sutta, there was a fear of one of the flatmates jumping down from his balcony. All in all, it was a typical boys night out new year who were all set to be sober for a few days. But, the delhi winter seemingly had different plans. The temperature starting dipping appreciably, by the time sun set, our bengali flatmate was trying to warm even his glove adorned hands with hot tea. Those, the north indian ones of us, were almost shaking even in the 2-3 layers of clothing we were wearing. The cold was absolutely bone chilling, poor UPSC students couldnt even think of a heater/blower, Until… The brilliant idea stuck one of us, “Old Monk“, the Dilli ki lifeline. And lo and behold, the guys who were blaming ‘Signature’ in the morning were, 10 hours later, sitting with pegs all in their hands. And slowly, as the Rum started kicking in, the sardi became our muse and thus started a winter full of rum, joy and life and a life long love story with Dilli ki Sardi.
4 years later, I see these pic of my parents in snow of Munsiyari…
And me poor chum is stuck in Mumbai, of the three quarters and full shirts fame.
Oh my dear winters, someday… Someday, We shall meet again!