Tuesday 22 November 2011

What I love about this time of year

Winter is setting in. The sun is weak, flights and trains have been getting delayed due to the infamous Delhi fog, and the warm clothes have been aired and are all ready to be worn. My kids are very excited and keep asking me "Amma, when can we wear GLOVES?"!!!
I know people crib all the time about the winters in this part of India, but I love this season. Especially now, when it's still autumn but steadily getting colder, when the mornings and evenings are chilly but still warm enough for the kids to shrug off their jackets after a few minutes of playing outside. Delhi weather is so monumentally unpleasant for 7 months of the year, but between Diwali and Holi, I enjoy it to the hilt. Even in dreary January when most people are waiting for the cold to end, I feel only dread for the long months of burn-and-swelter that lie ahead of me :)
So. What I love about autumn/winter/spring:
1. Picnics!!! Everything that needs to be done outdoors, 'tis the season to do it. Especially picnics, which one can do in style because Delhi has so many large and well-maintained parks, scattered all over the place. The larger parks are atleast 70-80 acres in size, which means on any one excursion you would only explore a small part of it. We've set ourselves a target of a picnic every weekend - we'll see how well we do :)
2. The long-sleeved t-shirts come out and the capris/shorts/sleeveless clothes get packed away. One can revert to one's hirsute natural self :) Less grooming = more time!!
3. Stylish clothes! Stockings, jackets, pashminas, turtlenecks, stoles, leggings, boots - all these get their day in the sun. Even stodgy corporate types look nice as they leave for work wearing suits and blazers.
4. The pleasure of having a steaming cup of ginger-and-clove chai is something else during the cold season. I'm too much of a chai addict to not have several hot cups even when its a blazing 42 degrees outside, but during the winter it is pure bliss.  
5. The markets full of colourful produce - large juicy brinjals, methi, spinach, radishes, guavas, long red carrots, capsicum and fresh sweet peas which Ads and I love to pop straight into our mouths. 
6. The torture of leaving the warmth of the comforter/razaai and getting out of bed in the mornings, balanced by the exquisite anticipation of getting back into it during bedtime! The delights of snuggling into small warm bodies in the middle of the night (in the summer, it's all I can do not to throw the kids violently off me when they get too close in the bed!)
7. Having alfresco lunch everyday in a sunny balcony. Food just tastes better when the warm sun is beating down on you and there's a good book on hand. I see people already heading down during lunchtime with blankets and hampers and having an impromptu picnic on the lawns.
8. Not having to apply sunscreen - a job I hate doing and which always falls to my share. 
9. I'd say eating makki di roti and sarson ka saag except that I am not such a fan of either. Still, it will be nice to have it a couple of times.
Drat - I should have been able to make it a round 10 :)


  1. About not making all ten? No sweat. Also No. 10!

    Yeah, love the cold, a big change from my feeble blooded US days...can't stand what I grew up with, the sweltering heat. This post is an awesome winter one.

    Delhi has the best parks, real ones. We mean to come over one December so we can walk around and enjoy the sights, have to do it some December soon.

    My kids want to wear gloves here!! Poor things! :-D

  2. I share a love-hate relationship with winter. At times, I love it. At other times, I hate it. :)
    I would say I love it when I am all snug and wrapped up and warm. :)

    I can so relate to this post - having experienced some bitter winters in Ahmedabad. I love sipping hot masala chai on winter afternoons too - there is something charming about winter afternoons, at around 4 pm, when there is just the right amount of sun and cold in the air. I love it when all the colourful and stylish clothes come out. I love the no-sweating in winters. I love using creams and body butter with good perfumes in the winters. I love putting my cold feet against the hubby's warm ones. :P

    I love using perfumes in winter - I feel they smell much better during this season. I love the feeling of Christmas and New Year coming up. I love the abundance of fresh veggies in the market at this time of the year. I love trying out different kinds of soups.

    Sigh! This post brought back so much nostalgia!

  3. Loved your list Aparna - almost makes me want to move to Delhi ;) I actually did live there when I was 6 years old and remember the switch to our "winter" uniform of a polo neck sweater and smart navy-blue coat - I used to be one of the first to make the switch every year!

    I have been feeling very sorry about me having to remember to apply moisturizer for 75% of the family(dry dry winter here!), glad I am not alone ;)

    Chai... mmm going to go make some now.. and add bajjis/bondas to that too when the weather is cold.. awesome :)!

  4. wowow..what a list! I loove winters too..garma garam chai, woollens (I can actually wear warm clothes in B'lore- remember I come from Mumbai:-)) have left me was long long ago during pre-primary..gone are the day picnics where you sit on the grass and open your packed dabbas of awesome snacks..hmm..will wait for R to get older and see if I can dash off to some place..
    loved this post, Aparna!

  5. what about roasted mungfli and chiki - not fond of that either?
    those two in addition to gajar ka halwa made the winters heaven for us!

  6. Lovely post!
    Agree with all 9 :)

  7. Hi Aparna, just caught up on all your posts after such a long time... Wanted to leave comments on many of them but then got lazy :-)
    I love this time of the year too just because a lot of time during the day suddenly becomes accessible... that whole bit from 12 to 4 that was just better left outside on its own during the summer. Just wanted to add a couple of points...
    1) Adding some fresh tulsi to the morning chai makes it tastes even better
    2) the gobhis also look pristine at this time of the year. And this whole winter cuisine.... colourful, wholesome food! yum!
    And as usual, my additions are on food! Predictable, eh?

  8. @Sangi: The only negative I can see with coming over in December would be that the days are very short, often foggy. On the other hand, the kids get to wear gloves :))

  9. @thegalnxtdoor: True, 4 pm IS the best time if day. You aren't drowsy and there's just the right balance of cold and warmth.

  10. @Aparna: Yup chai with bajjis/pakoras/bondas! Salivating already :))
    I'm the one who applies cream, odomos, sunscreen - and I hate it that I always have to do it.

  11. @Uma, why wait for R to get older? he'll love it - and Bangalore has such awesome weather year-round. There's no excuse not to head outdoors. Ads loves picnics becos he gets to play frisbee and yukta always complains that she doesn't know how to use the frisbee and no one is teaching her :)

  12. @Yuvika: Hmm...they aren't top-of-mind recalls when I think of winter. I remember eating several guavas everyday and feeling slightly sick afterward :)

  13. @Choxbox: Thanks and glad you agree :)

  14. Ooo Nice. Think Delhi is at its most lovable in Novembers and I totally agree with the smart winter wardrobe bit!

    Er..The weather man has forecast that winter should start in Bombay soon. I am getting ready for the 18 degrees that will happen in the middle of the night :)

  15. It is funny I read about winter in your post today because just this morning I was telling B that I love winters because it is so nice to cozy up and also have the kids come and stick their legs near us to get some warmth...without any of us feeling sticky and wanting to kick it all off. But the one thing I hate about winter is that it gets so dark by 4.00 p.m. I have to take the kids to a birthday party at 5.00 p.m. today and it feels so weird to be driving in the dark to a party. It is so depressing at dusk.
    Delhi winters are a different deal looks like. No one picnics here in the winters. Well, on sunny days yes. But otherwise no. BTW - are you settled in Delhi or is there any chance you will move to the U.S. again?

  16. @Anita: Aired the woollens yet? remember to wear a earmuff when you step out in the early mornings :)

  17. @noon: well if its cloudy and depressing and foggy, I doubt anybody here will venture out too. But I say - it never rains or snows in winter, and not that much wind chill, so there's really no excuse not to get some fresh air. But there -- I'm an outdoors freak! :)
    Aah - you just asked the million $$$ question! We're never 'settled" anywhere - very nomadic folks :) We'll go wherever my husband's job takes him. Our green card re-entry permit expires in a couple of months but that doesn't mean anything - we haven't closed any doors - and all of us are fully open to going back to the US again. My son told me day-before yesterday that he really likes the US, but amma don't worry we don't have to move there, but can you take me there on a holiday? :))

  18. Oh I love winters too...for all the reasons including smart clothing despite minimal grooming:)
    But i still do not like being in the sun , i have plenty of time n space to laze out in the sun during lunchtime but i stay indoors n just take a walk in the garden in between.


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