The worst winters…

for me were during my three years in Delhi. Living in a room with wooden windows and doors that had cracks in them; no room heating; going to bed wearing three layers of warm clothes and socks under a warm razai (duvet) – doesn’t matter the temperature is rarely ever sub-zero. Its just cold everywhere. No respite. A couple of friends in the hostel had electric heaters – the kind that you could use for cooking as well as room heating. A clear fire hazard. But we had so many nights of instant noodles and toasted bread thanks to those things. Midnight parties and warm friends – that’s what saw us all through.

And then there were the train rides in the winter breaks to Trivandrum and back. A 54 hour train ride to get home. Luckily, it wasn’t cold all the way. South India was pleasant. But to get there, we had to pass one night in the train – with the open windows and doors and the pores in the coach through which the cold wind streamed in. On the way back to Delhi, the train used to pass Bhopal at about 5 am. I remember on almost every such train ride, walking down the coaches to the pantry and getting a cup of hot milk. No coffee/tea for me back then.

Last year in Brighton, I experienced snow for the first time ever. And made it through the notorious English winter. It was a breeze. Really. After the kind of training Delhi put me through, I bet I can stand much worse. In fact, we would be outdoors a lot more in Delhi, since staying in rarely made a difference, and sometimes, was just worse – cold and damp.

Read that Delhi is getting terrible weather right now. Hold on, people…


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