Tuesday, May 17, 2011


[This post was written in mid December last year, but could not be published for some reasons... hope it will bring some relief in the scorching heat....:) ]

Have you ever felt the warm embrace of the wind on a cold day? Or seen the magical beauty of the dew drops on a blooming marigold in the month of January? Or ever felt the mystical fragrance in the air when the surrounding is wrapped in fog and mist, when you could hardly see things around yourself? Well, unlike the poet who hailed winter as a symbol of human sufferings and pain, winter has always been the most favorite season of mine since I was a little girl. But it’s not just these few reasons which make me fond of the chill and the fog, but the most important reason is that winters make me Nostalgic. In fact, winters take me deep down the memory lane, making me yearn for the lost days of girlhood, which I could get back probably in my dreams and thoughts only, or may be in some other birth, if such things are to be believed.

I remember how I hated attending the morning school especially during the cold season in my pre primary and primary days back in the early nineties and would often find a stomach ache or a toothache as an excuse for getting a day off. My parents would go through a kind of an ordeal to wake me up and get me dressed up, but somehow how they would convince me and take me to attend those not so interesting classes without fail, and even if I pretended crocodile tears, anyone hardly cared! The “great loss” would soon however be “compensated” with some chocolate candies or a new drawing book when I returned home. But such ordeals were a common thing almost everyday at my house. And in the midst of such childish mayhem, winter vacations would come to rescue me. Yes, long winter breaks were a great relief to me. It meant no more getting up early in the morning, no daily drama of crying and scolding, and yes, and no morning classes to go for! Thus, winter, to me, was a reason to celebrate.

I remember traveling to my father’s native village, about 30 kilometers from Agartala, to spend those luxurious times, a place where I had realized that sleeping till late in the morning was not the only beautiful thing that winters could offer, in fact, there was so much more in store for me. Most people of the village including my grandparents, lived in mud houses, which would be properly cleaned and washed every day with water. There was a large courtyard in front of the house adorned with rows of marigolds, roses, hibiscus, and many other flowers and orchids. Unlike the city dwellers who smile at the sun not before 8 O’ clock on wintry mornings, every morning my grand parents would get up at five and start their usual domestic chores, and to my own surprise, I would accompany them too. That was the beginning of my real interaction on a winter morning, with a winter morning. That’s when I started loving foggy mornings drenched with dew and mist on the face of earth, making it more beautiful. That’s when I could inhale a nameless fragrance, the fragrance of the fog and the mist which took me closer to Mother Nature.

I remember standing in the open fields, stretching my arms wide open and letting the rings of smoke out of my mouth, on a winter morning, without actually smoking! And I think I am going to miss that forever. Every evening, we would have a bonfire in the courtyard, where neighbors would rush in, and we would warm ourselves in front of the fire, holding a cup of tea in each hand, enjoying every bit of the chilly gusts of wind that ran down our spines. The celebration had no name of its own but I guess it was a celebration of humanity, a celebration of togetherness, a celebration of taking time out of the busy schedules and spending it with near and dear ones, a celebration dedicated to Nature.

Besides cheering up the four senses, viz. sense of sight, hearing, touch and smell, the arrival of winters added to my taste buds as well. I am a complete foodie and the smell of local delicacies on Makar Sakranti and the incomparable taste of patishapta, pitha, malpua, gurer payesh …and hundreds of mouth watering dishes would literally make me go mad, and if given a chance, I would choose not to be sane again, given the condition that you guys have to provide me with these food in the asylum!!!

But truly has someone said that Change is the only constant thing on earth. True, life has changed a lot for me. Now I hardly get time to visit my native village, the sweet dishes do not taste the same as they used to be, the jaggery does not taste as sweet as it used to be, no more bon fires because there is hardly any space in my house in the city, no more standing in the open fields and feeling the "warm" embrace of the foggy mornings, no more watching the dew fall on the coy leaves, well … the list of no more’s will go on. All I am left with is just a bagful of those good old memories that I cherish whenever I am sitting alone in my room or trying to pen down a few lines in my diary. But I still love winter and try to welcome it in every way I could because to me winter is nostalgia…

1 comment:

  1. I could understand how your winter fog hangs between past and present. Your write pushed me too into a pool of nostalgia. I can relate to it immensely as I also have very fond memories that connects my soul to the 'winter'. I think winter gives my soul a time to breath and ponder upon the days gone by. After my father death this pondering has become much more intense and sometime I even can't stop my tears. Me and my father used to have great time during winter (I don't have proper vocabulary to describe the beauty of those moments....but someday I'll narrate you).
    There are basically three types of people according to me..1st Those who always look forward (past hardly holds any meaning for them)...2nd Those who remain in the past and can not more forward in life.....and 3rd who move forward in life but always try to reflect on the past (they value each moment of life that they have come through). We both belong to the third category and perhaps that is why we pen down thoughts to lighten our heart.

    I also find this article very touching as I started to recall my school days in HCS and my hostel days in Nagaland where we used to sing Westlife, MLTR, backstreet boys etc almost in every winter evening sitting in the porch. Winter used to be very harsh there and sometime we used to get boozed up and cry for homecoming. I used to have chronic homesickness. Gonna are those days dear...huuuh!!!

    Shukla, this narration is one of the finest narration I have ever read about winter. You have a special capacity to connect with the reader. Thank you so very much for penning this breathtaking article. Regards and Respect~


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