MIDWAY: Winter woes

Of the seasonal blessings conferred on the planet by a benign Providence, winter is perhaps the least wanted. The dull days, the agonisingly elongated cold nights, the desertion of bubbly birds, the aloofness of the dazzling sun; Shakespeare was on his nose when he told the winter — “Thy breath be rude” in his famous play As you like It. My personal dislike of winter dates back to my childhood. I was a hydrophobic kid, scared of bathing even on summer days. And the winter was my nightmare as it was an undeclared rule in my home to bathe, at least, once a week. Tears used to roll down my cheeks when Mom dragged me to the tap.

And to add insult to injury, there were always some curious neighbours sniggering at my plight from their balcony. Happy are humans to see others’ tears, I thought.

I am a sufferer of “sleep inertia” during winters. I can’t wake up on time. During my graduation days last year, my classes were in the morning shift. So setting the alarm clock at 5am, I always slept with a commitment not to miss the early morning Graphics class. The lousy alarm always rang on time but I could never gather enough strength to wake up. It was my brother who had to violently shake me to wake me up.. With weary eyes and tingling nose when I finally landed in college premises it often used to be eight in the morning.

When I ask most of the people which season they prefer, almost all of them have a common reply — winter, and that really upsets me. I know a lot of “kind-hearted” people lounging in their AC rooms and wishing for a snowfall over the distant hills. I guess that basically requires a heart of lead to even think of such a thing. Curling ourselves up on a warm quilt, we can only imagine the worst the winter has to offer. Only the homeless people exactly know how vicious a winter can be.

My heart throbs with great fear to see the Pakistan earthquake survivors on TV curling up inside a single blanket for survival. In the midst of winter’s cruelty, I sometimes guess summer was better. But thinking of the scorching heat, I profoundly realise that I am no different from an archetypal human who prefers summer in winter and winter in summer.