I have lived in Bombay for the better part of my life. Bombay, where the weather is the same throughout the year except for the downpour of the monsoons that lasts for 4 months - June to September. I had only heard of the winters of North India, and most of it was dreadfull. As luck would have it i got married to someone living in the north and the new married me landed in Delhi during the peak winter of 1988. Unequipped to face the winters and unaware of how to protect myself from the cold i had a terrible time with chillblains ravaging my fingers and toes. I have had a hate-hate relationship with winters ever since. Not even the promise of winter goodies like til laddoos, gajak, gajar halwa could make me utter a word or 2 in favour of the winters. Bringing up 2 kids who happened to be at the crawling stage during their first winters, dressing them and packing them off to school in our non-geyser days on foggy winter mornings, finding the determination to forego the warmth of the rajai and get into the freezing kitchen to cook the family a warm meal- all these tests of my endurance only intensified my dislike for the weather.
It has taken the weather 20 years to finally count me as a convert. I no longer dread the winters but kind of look forward to the warmth that they bring- cozy breakfasts in the kitchen, early dinners- mostly steaming soups, the variety of winter vegetables with which to juggle up a meal, the lazy afternoons in the sun, the smartness that scarfs and jackets and coats lend to the winter wardrobe. The promise of warmth generated after physical exercise woos you into keeping yourself active when feeling cold, in fact even going to the extent of taking up a sport.
Winter mornings were still spent indoors specially foggy mornings which were considered nothing short of the devil's veil ( not surprising since most murders in Bollywood mystery movies occur on a foggy or rainy night). It took a walk in the park on one such foggy morning for me to see the beauty that the fog embraces in its folds. Every sight had a mystery to it, clouded with a vagueness. People on the other side appeared as if they were there and yet not there, as if they were part of a painting, part of a photograph that had not developed clearly, had developed hazily. Like if you wanted to touch them you would have to move a lot of distance into nothingness to do that and even then they may not be for real. And it was humbling to realise that you may be appearing in the same manner to them. Trees enveloped by the fog with a flock of flying birds in the foreground. That was the sight that truly had me change the way i looked at foggy mornings, i could see them in a completely different light. I could see their beauty, something i had never seen because up untill then i had resisted being outdoors on foggy mornings. And it's a fact, anything you resist you can never grow to love.