Do you like snow? I definitely do. Have you been dreaming about it? I have grown up not just dreaming but obsessing about snowfall. I always imagined what it would actually look like, what the freezing temperature would feel like, which place on earth I would see it in and whether I would ever see it at all.
Whenever I watched scenes/songs from old iconic Shammi Kapoor movies (which showed the movie stars sliding down snow capped mountains) or movies filmed in the scenic Swiss Alps it would set me dreaming. Would I see snow in India? Would it be Shimla or Kashmir? I dreamed of going to Switzerland like so many Indians do. Would that ‘magical’moment ever arrive?
It did. I was visiting London in winter. I would check the weather forecast every single morning on T.V. I met a few Londoners and would ask them whether it would snow that year. They would be very surprised that I hadn’t seen snow. I forgot to tell them that in my country it only snows in the northern parts where I haven’t been. They said it didn’t always snow in London and like every year they were hoping for a white Christmas. I even asked them what the sky would look like. They said it would look dark, dreary and leady, just before. They got just as excited for me.
It was nearing the end of November and the temperature started to dip towards freezing point. I would keep looking at the sky, the clouds. Did they look leady? There were times when everything got still, quiet and dark. It looked like it would snow any minute, but it didn’t.
November 29 2010, 3.00 a.m..
I was fast asleep. I heard my father calling out and say something incredible. Bleary eyed, I jumped out of bed, walked towards the window and looked outside. In the stillness of the dark, gloomy winter night and the silence of the streets; illuminated by the dim street lights was a whitish glow all around. I rubbed and blinked my eyes in disbelief. No, I wasn’t seeing things and I wasn’t dreaming this. It was a dream come true. It was a sight I will never forget.
It had snowed, not a lot, but just enough. At that unearthly hour, we got out our warmest clothes, went down the staircase and stepped out of the house to play. The snow crunched a little under our feet. When I picked it up,it felt a bit warm at first(not cold as I had anticipated)and then my hands started to freeze.
More snow followed in December. It was a miraculous moment, to wake up and see this spectacle from our bedroom windows. The snowflakes looked so dainty and pretty as they fell. They had already buried the roof and the road with what looked like scoops of vanilla ice-cream. I couldn’t get my eyes of this startling sight- it was so surreal. Imagine being treated to this sight just after waking up.
Enchanting isn’t it?
Later while on a walk, we had only just reached the end of the street and there was a sudden surprise. It felt like we were being hit by something. Was it someone playing mischief and throwing snowballs at us? That someone was actually a snowstorm! We were hit by a snowstorm. Armed with our umbrellas, we shielded ourselves. Although it was a short but heavy snow flurry, it was something special and delightful. We hurried back home and we had a most marvelous time playing outside. Those moments made the wait worth it.
While it looks beautiful as it snows and just after it snows, it’s when it starts to melt and turns into ice that it can be a bit dangerous- it gets slippery to walk and drive on.
The following days was all about wrapping up in coats and scarves, wearing boots and going for walks in the chilly weather;walking past bakeries to the heavenly smell of freshly baked bread and goodies, shivering and walking into the warm cafes, to have hot chocolate/ cinnamon latte, donuts, sandwiches, pretzels etc.
It was fun going to see the Christmas lights and displays, heading early morning for the Christmas sales and the fantastic Christmas markets- enjoying the many rides, listening to Christmas songs and gorging on warm festive food like Bratwurst sausages, crepes, churros, chestnuts and mulled wine.
It was great watching people skate on the ice rinks (and wishing I could too ) and meeting Santa in his grotto. Later at home, we built a snowman(it wasn’t as easy as I had thought) and baked some turnips.
Right now here in India I feel baked, toasted and roasted.It’s summer and it is sweltering hot! I am longing for some cool climate. If it’s snowing in your part of the world, do parcel and send me some snow here 😉