.. when you roll down the car windows the morning after a snowstorm, for a disbelieving moment you actually wonder if the window pane’s split into two, one part dutifully rolling down while the other stays merrily in place, mocking you with its resoluteness? And what fun it is to knock down the truant ice layer in a single blow afterwards, pretending you are a karate pro knocking down a thick sheet of glass!
Visitors to these parts carefully time their visits for late spring, summer or early fall. And I’m usually the one urging everyone to avoid coming here in winter. But inconsistency personified that I am, I sometimes pity them too – surely the poor souls don’t know what they are missing! I remember the tourist guide in Manali looking askance at the boisterous summer crowds around us and urging us to visit again in winter, ‘Barf ke mausam mein idhar aakar dekho madam, uska maza hi kuch alag hain’. How true, indeed!
Snuggling under the bed covers on a freezing winter morning and begging for two more minutes of sleep, waking up to find the dull greens and browns of the previous day swathed in a gleaming sea of white, the absolute silence characteristic of a morning-after-the-snowstorm winter morning, the pitter-patter of freezing rain and hail on the sun-roof of your home, the brook outside overflowing with crystal-clear and icy-cold water, impromptu snowman-making sessions in the evening interrupted by giggling bouts of snow-hurling fights, rushing to enter the warm coziness of home after the freezing temperatues outside, sharing a cup of hot chocolate looking out at the snowflakes dancing all around you, snow boughs falling down a tree and scaring two already-scared occupants of a car, waving and smiling at neighbors struggling to clear snow off their car and a kind soul offering to help two clueless desis desperately trying to extricate their car from the wintry mess piled up around it when their turn comes to head for office…
How do I explain these pleasures to all those who tsk tsk at the thought of a winter snowstorm in New England?
P.S. What about you dear readers? Do you love or hate winters in cold climates? I’d love to hear about it from you!