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A Mesmerizing Winter Morning


WAKING UP on a winter morning takes courage. It is a sort of sacrifice only a few people are able to make, those having a remarkable will-power. Unless you have a strong reason to get something done, making this sacrifice is a herculean task, almost impossible. In winter, there is a joy in oversleeping, in cuddling up under a nice warm and cosy blanket. What most people do is— they wake up, see the time, and get back to sleep again. Even when being awake, it becomes extremely difficult to actually get up and resume our work or study. What happens is that our mind succumbs to the bodily comfort of enjoying a great peaceful sleep underneath a blanket. I, too, belong to this group, the group that is not ready to give up morning sleep easily on any day; and when it comes to giving up the sleep of a winter morning, we just cannot.

However, one day, on a fairly cold winter morning, when I supposed to be in the sleep mode, I not only got up early but went for a walk too. Dressed up in winter wear of a thick jacket and jeans, with woollen under-vests and topi, I went out on my journey to explore a winter morning.

It was a hazy foggy morning. Things were visible but only to a limit. The yellow fog lights were on the street. It makes me feel as if I have been put in a deep freezer. It indeed is a freezer, nature’s giant freezer. I was surprised by the serenity of our locality. Either our neighbours have become quite well-behaved or lazy, I knew that the later is most likely to be true. I noticed that the sky was clear, only if compared with those in the last week, but the cold was still there. In my city, it doesn’t snow but the temperature can plummet as low as 4 degrees; and a chilly wind flows in the atmosphere, in the month of December and January. Today is the beginning of the second week of January, winter is probably in its last phase. After a while, spring will arrive. And it would kill the joy of winter, the joy of laziness!

While crossing the bazaar, where there is a continuous hustle-bustle is starkly silent. I guessed, the bazaar is a kid that is sleeping, but the moment it awake, it will make the city crazy. Most of the shops are closed, but a few are open. There is no sign of customers, but these brave shopkeepers have declared themselves open for the day's business.

The chaiwala make his preparation for his first round of tea to not disappoint his customers and the travellers. In the winter, tea is not just tea, it is the elixir of life. It is the most soothing universal beverage, the importance of which increases manifold during winter.

Those who couldn't get the luxury of the warmth of the blanket at home, have gathered together at the bonfire. It is Agni deva who help them being warm.

Moving further, I noticed that even construction workers have arrived at their workplace. But, they're only smoking, they probably smoke before starting their day's work. It could also keep them being warm. Anyway, who is building Taj Mahal in this cold, I asked myself.

In the park, there are some fitness freaks, yes you need to be a freak to come here for an exercise in this weather. But despite labelling them 'freak', I joined them. I'm sure they had the same freaky opinion about me. I tried mild jogging. It was great at first but gradually, after a moment, it became very difficult to breathe the cold air. My nose felt colder than ice. I stopped and start searching for a place to sit and relax. But there was a risk of making my pant wet in sitting as there was water at the surface of the park’s ‘common chair’ and on the grass due to dew. So, I preferred standing.

While returning back, I found two customers of the chaiwala at the tea-stall. I became the third. Mostly, I order cutting but not today. I wanted a full cup of creamy tea infused and flavoured with ginger. And, he exactly did that. I thought he’d serve it in a desi kulhad, but he didn’t. He instead served it in this:

Then I thought the chaiwala would be a hardcore Modi fan, but again I was wrong when he declared himself 'politically neutral'. But I still have doubts. After all, he is a chaiwala!

After having tea, I resumed my journey. The sound of trains could be heard easily which gets lost in the hectic day's noise. Reaching the bazaar, the mouth-watering smell of samosa and kachauri being fried drifted into my nostrils. Let me tell you, it was very hard to resist that smell. I passed through that shop muttering, "who eats samosas in the morning?".

And after returning, I wrote this.

On that day, I realized a very astonishing fact, that the daily wage workers don’t feel cold. They begin their work when they’re supposed to be sleeping. I still don’t know why but these very usual common sighting things— that happens every day, was so mesmerizing to me. Though it is not advisable, especially if you live in a heavily polluted city, but If you’re really strong and go out for a walk in the winter morning, you'd be marvelled at the beauty of nature.

Amitesh Gupta (@amiteshspeaks)

topi— winter cap 
chaiwala the tea seller
Agni deva Lord of Fire
kulhad an earthen cup 
samosa and kachauri light Indian snacks


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