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Thursday, January 3, 2013

WINTER BLUES AND BOONS





We in North India are under the tight hold of extreme cold conditions. Temperature is plummeting every day, sending shivers down our spines. It is making us sit doubled up in quilts with hot water bottles or electric blankets. While up and working, we wear many layers of woolens, including leggings and socks to retain heat inside. One looks like a stuffed toy with restricted body movements because of overload of clothing. The constant cloudy sky with episodes of dense blinding fog, makes the scenario gloomy with inertia setting in. The depressive feel of the foggy days is like life sucked out of life, due to inactivity and sloth. One feels a bit shrunk.

William Shakespeare in his sonnet No.97 compares his absence from his beloved to the dark and freezing December.
                               How like a winter hath my absence been
                               From thee, the pleasure of the fleeting year!
                               What freezing have i felt,what dark days seen!
                               What old Decembers' barenness every where!

Winter is hard for old folks. Lack of mobility leads to aches and pains and worsens heart condition.

Yellow leaves on the branches and on the ground, leafless deciduous trees and withering flora speak of the combined onslaught of first autumn and then intense and chilling cold. Birds too go on vacation somewhere to warmer climes.

But winter has its own boons. One fine day sun wriggles out of the obdurate blue cover; its mellow warmth rejuvenates the sagging spirits by opening up the limbs, enclosed in extra woolens. Basking in the sun, munching groundnuts and enjoying winter goodies, prepared with jaggery and sesame seeds are  experiences available only in winter. Sunny days in winter lift up moods, motivate and inspire positivity. Sunshine also is a source of vitamin D, which energizes weak muscles. Winter without sunshine is like a bride without Shingar

Healthy soups:  To liven up there is ample choice of nutritious, healthy and warm foods. All kinds of vegetable soups, warm up dull, dark evenings. Watching TV wrapped up in shawls with a bowl of steaming hot soup act as welcome pick me up. Clear soups without croutons or noodles are great low caloric appetizers.

 Carrot Dishes:  Carrots contain large amounts of antioxidants. Carrot dishes (Gajrela obsequious in winter) prepared when the mood is upbeat and savoured at will, more than compensates the discomfort of cold and provides needed energy and satiation.

 Vegetables in plenty: On another level we should feel blessed of the winter gifts. Availability of fresh vegetables, mustard greens and fresh spinach, which one can use to prepare scores of simple but mouth watering dishes and  which stay fresh much longer are possible only in winter. Who can ignore the delectable sag and makki di roti with generous chunks of butter to tickle the taste buds. There is surfeit of gourmet delights in this season.

Celebrations:  Winter gifts us celebratory opportunities in plenty.With the onset of winter we have festival of lights, Christmas, Guru nanak Dev' Ji's Birth Anniversary and then Lohri, Republic day and so many others which are celebrated on low scale.

Winter Sports:  Winter season is also time to enjoy and participate in winter sports. In the western world people go for skiing, sledding and ice hockey. In India Gulmarg in Kashmir and higher reaches of Himachal Pradesh attract fun and sports loving enthusiasts.

 Winter is an occasion for romance, family reunions, renewing and affirming relationships and sharing fond remembrances, sitting cozily around fireplace.



6 comments:

  1. A nice winter account Uppal:)
    We had the coldest day in past 110 years in my town yesterday...it was 0.5 degree C!
    But "If winter comes can spring be far behind?"

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  2. Thanks Amit. 0.5 C is really low.Cold Wave is accentuated by constant cloudy sky at our place.
    That we'll have spring soon, is the only consolation.

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  3. yes, sitting under the sun during winter can be fun, but without sun it can be little difficult especially when the temperature drops to an uncomfortable level. take care of yourself!

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  4. Thanks Debajyoti.The weather is not turning for the better.Even today it is bone chilling cold.We're facing it by eating flax seed pinnies which contain omega3 antioxidant.Recipe in one of my posts on flax seed.

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