The nip in the air and the overcast sky remind me of the beautiful winter days I spent at Ahmedabad.
I remember being unable to get up in the morning for work, the quilt pulled up over my head, begging my mom for ‘5 more minutes, please’ when she came to wake me up.
I remember the late morning walks I used to take on holidays with mom, just to feel the sun on my skin and soak it in.
I remember taking a mid-afternoon break from work, and standing under our favourite tree with my colleagues, basking in the rare sunlight.
I remember using a variety of perfumes, as I believe perfumes smell better in the winter.
I remember looking around at the colourful jackeets and sweaters that my colleagues used to wear, the way we used to match our sweaters with our outfits with so much care.
I remember my grandpa eating a spoonful of Chyawanprash every morning without fail, and asking me to eat one, too.
I remember the extra-cold days when I used to bunk college or office, just to curl up on bed under a warm quilt with a book.
I remember the way I used to become a hot-tea-and-soup guzzling machine in the winters.
I remember the servants of our apartment and roadside hawkers building a fire on the roadside every morning, to toast their hands over.
I remember admiring at smiling at the Christmas decorations and lights all over the city, and loving the spirit that seemed to permeate everyone and everything.
I remember visiting the beautifully lit churches and loving the peace and quiet.
I remember dad getting huge bags of green, leafy veggies from the market, and the refrigerator always being full of them.
I remember mom shouting at dad for buying a ‘new cartload of vegetables’ before she got a chance to cook the batch that was already there in the refrigerator.
I remember the baingan ka bharta, aloo paratha, undhiyu, khichdi kadhi, palak paneer, vegetable pulav, jeera rice and dal fry that momj used to cook in the winter months.
I remember refusing to eat curd rice because it was too cold, and because ‘it put a chill down my spine’.
I remember the people in my apartment setting up a bonfire to cook yummy Matla Undhiyu.
I remember going with dad in the early mornings to drink a glass of yummy Neera.
I remember walking down a few blocks after office, on some winter evenings, to get hot samosas and chutney from a stall that I loved.
I remember my mom and granny busy shelling peas or cleaning palak or pudina or methi leaves, almost every winter afternoon.
I remember going out with friends and colleaguesfor steaming Chinese food or Pav Bhaji to beat the cold.
I remember myself, my cousins, friends, colleagues and parents irritating each other by laying our numb-with-cold hands on their warm faces.
I remember my hands becoming numb every morning, so that I could not log in to my system at work, and waiting for 10 minutes for them to unfreeze.
I remember spreading the quilt on my bed an hour before I would go to sleep, to make it warm and cosy by bed-time.
I remember irritating my parents and cousins by slipping into their ‘warm’ spaces before they could.
I remember the endless cups of Maggi noodles. They used to be my saviour, literally.
I remember going to the Tibetan Sweater Market, and admiring the jackets and sweaters there.
I remember the endless sore throats and colds and flasks of hot water and bottles of cough syrup that we used to empty. I remember joking to my dad to buy a family-size cough syrup bottle if available – the bug used to go through all of the family at once.
I remember complaining about the sudden increase in cold whenever there was snowfall in other parts of the country, and locving the cold just as much.
I remember the bad dry skin and chapped lips and cracked feet, and how I used to keep them always dunked in moisturiser or coconut oil.
I remember the fresh amla juice that mom used to make and bottle.
I remember the occasional hot water bag that I used to take with me to bad, to fight the cold.
I remember the hot snacks available out of a Maruti Van outside Law Garden in the mornings, and the huge queues that walkers used used to form to partake of them.
I remember the overcast skies for days on end, and my joy at finalloy being able to see the sun in the sky.
I remember the unseasonal rains that would suddenly start in the cold winters (Mavthu), making it all the more colder.
I remember irritating my dad and grandpa by pulling off their monkey caps, and wearing them.
I remember curling up on the sofa with a warm shawl and a fun movie in the evenings, because it would be too cold to go out.
Winter here is different, and my mind can’t stop taking a trip to Ahmedabad every time it feels the chilly air.
Image Source: Here
PS: Updated my food blog after ages!