Happily Unmarried

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Bring on the winter



The way to get your prayers answered is to shout them out. Atleast, always works in my case. In my last post I had complained about how just cold, packed-in weather is no good if there is no snow to compensate even. Looks like the weather gods check the blog as well and decided to answer my prayers. It snowed last night!! Yes, this morning there was a good two inches of the white stuff outside my window.

It's incredible how the features of a place get completely blanketed in a layer of white. In fact, a place, any place, looks so much prettier covered in snow. And the first snow of the season is something else all together. For about 9 months a year you get used to the shades of green-yellow that everything around you takes on. Then one fine day, those colours are not there anymore. Against the stark white, everything looks dark - pretty but dark. And even if it's about 2 degrees out in the open, even if it's raining, even if it's the same view from your balcony that you see everyday, you find yourself standing out for hours on end looking out.

Thanks to the HP electricity board, you are also forced to take a break. It's almost like Vacation has come to town and everyone is making the best of it. With snow, sleet and rain there were friends who dropped in, restaurants were packed and phone calls going back and forth fixing up rendezvous. Like everybody needed an excuse to start socialising. Of course, most of these were not the locals who have centuries of experience of the Himalayan winter but the immigrants - people like me who are from the plains or some distant country - who have made the Himalayas our home.

Winter in the mountains, especially the coming of snow reminds us of why we are here. Why we are not in Bangalore or Delhi or Germany or UK, going to regular 9-5 jobs and fighting the traffic. Why we chose to give up living in our homes with families, well-paying jobs, meeting our friends regularly, going to multiplexes and malls and chose to make do with momos at Chopsticks or pizza at Manalsu or renting pirated DVDs in Manali. It's an affirmation of our choices and we want to celebrate. What better reason than the first snow of the season then? Think I have eulogised enough. Will let the image do the talking now...

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Wishing for a white christmas

It's all packed in, cloudy, rainy and cold as hell. What is the ppint of weather like this if it doesn't even snow as compensation? Someone should have a word with the Elements and tell them how to do their job.

There are days when it's all clear. I can almost see Rohtang Pass behind my house and down the valley for nearly 30 km from my balcony. The temperature in shade is about 7 degrees but out in the sun you feel like God's chosen one. Snow and mountains against a deep, deep blue sky and the sun warming you up. Purrfect.

When I tried to tell this to H, her reaction was that I sound like a Londoner! But seriously, I have found a new respect for the sun. When I wake up to a sunny morning, I could almost do a sajda to the gods above. I guess this new-found love comes from having lived for the last month in temperatures below 10, sometimes bordering 0 or below. I see frost on the grass and on the straw and twig fences around the apple orchards here. The water in the pipes are frozen in the mornings and if I am not careful when I walk, I could be doing some unintentional-ballet over a frozen bit of water. Knowing my balancing skills however, my neighbours are in no danger of seeing that particular skill of mine. I would have fallen down long before the b of ballet.

But for all my infatuation with nature right now, I have a question - Where is the frigging snow??!! Each time, it snows it stops about 200 mts above my house like there is an invisible barrier that turns all snow to rain below that mark. If anyone from the Elements fraternity is reading this, make not that my infatuation is in danger of wearing out if I don't see some of that white stuff outside my window soon.

Have been trying to catch up with work, but weather like today's is made to snuggle in a razai in front of the heater and read fantasy books. Work is an effor in the best of weathers, but weathers like this only inspires me to get nostalgic, to ponder the ifs and make plans for a sunny day which is hopefully tomorrow... In the meantime if it snows, of course, all else gets postponed for the celebrations.

- I