Growing Up

A south Indian family survives north Indian winter

A south Indian family survives north Indian winter

If you are a South Indian and reading this, chances are you will not understand because you have never seen a winter.

If you are a North Indian, you probably know what winter is all about but don`t know what it feels to be a south Indian…so read on. The Western & Eastern Indians can just sit and watch.

As I was saying, being a south Indian during North Indian winter isn`t easy.

I remember, back in Chennai, nobody would speak of the weather. People calling you wouldn`t ask: “So, how is the weather?” for they would know the answer. It is not to say that we didn`t have four seasons in Chennai – we had a hot season, more hot season, most hot season and then the hottest and humid season.

Here in Gurgaon, we have the summer, winter, autumn and spring. Spring is the season from May onwards till August when the working class springs from one company to the other after a not-so-good appraisal.

Anyway, a week back the Rajans realized that in Gurgaon the temperatures can be as low as 25 degree Celsius! “That`s winter!” my wife Rekha cried. “I never knew it would come in unannounced,” I exclaimed.

We had never seen winter and didn`t know how to cope with it. The same day, I went to the edge of Gurgaon, collected some firewood and brought it home. For the next one week, we burnt firewood in the middle of the drawing room and blackened the marble. Had it not been for the family living below us, whose ceiling fan had melted and started dripping we would have never known about a household appliance called room heater.

Though the house was warm now, the floors still were too cold to walk on so Rekha and I hatched a plan. We were to follow the milkman the next day morning (without his knowledge of course) and see his house. We knew he had cows and buffaloes and goats and thus would have lots of hay.

The next day morning, as soon as he gave us the customary one liter of milk we locked our house and followed him in our car. We had to travel very slow because he was on a cycle. The good ‘spy` that my wife is we managed to avoid detection.

The same night we stole hay (or straw, whatever) from his house and spread it evenly on our apartment floor. I remember my grandpa telling me that way back in the 1930s when south India used to have a winter this is what they used to do.

Now we could walk on the floor without any issue, but had a problem taking bath. How could one take bath when the outside temperature was as low as 25 degree Celsius? Back in Chennai, we used to take bath twice (morning & evening) but here, it was becoming a challenge.

I even tried heating the water in the drawing room (on the 24X7 fire we were maintaining) but hot water baths weren`t good either because after wiping ourselves dry, we would freeze in the cold.

After two failed attempts, we stopped taking bath. We don`t stink yet because it has only been a week. If it gets colder and we can`t think of any alternatives to bathing we plan to stock up Axe Effect`s Winter Cool before its price goes up. In case you didn`t know, demand for deodorants goes up in winter (and one thought sweating was less in winters!).

Pity, we are only one week into the North Indian winter. Pray for this South Indian family so that we emerge victorious at the end of the North Indian winter. If you sympathize with us please send me a mail seeking bank account details.

Note: Anybody knows how to build an Igloo? We need to save ourselves from the cold and the Gurgaon bullets.

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