October…gateway to winter

October…gateway to winter

Does Nature have a calendar on Her desk? A calendar like the one tacked on the cupboard, with lunar signs and holidays visible from a distance?! How else can She get her domain to function so perfectly? This year, with an early Dussehra and Diwali, I would have thought that winter would be lagging behind and a few more warm nights and cloudy monsoon days would be gifted to us.

oct02

It’s the 1st of October, and I am sneezing my way through the day. Frosty morning walks with two canine steam engines, mellow days of warm sunshine, crispy cool evenings and fall colors on the chestnut trees,have descended on our hill town. It’s the week when Ma Durga is reputed to descend from the Himalayas, and the Navratris/Durga Puja/Dandiya Raas/ Dussehra festival is here. Incense and smoke rise from the places of worship while mist and fog rise from the green valley below. The Goddess is decked in her red and gold finery for this week of splendor before She is immersed in the river, while the trees deck themselves in orange and gold for one last show before winter strips them to bare twigs. Sweets, delectable snacks and feasts are prepared at home…and the colorful winter vegetable show begins at the vegetable stall.

oct01

It is time to prepare for winter and its long quiet nights, crisp sunlight days, frost and snow, bare trees and deserted roads. It is time to pack up the summer cottons, pull out the blankets, quilts, carpets, heaters, sweaters and hats, and prepare hot soup. It is time to watch pumpkins ripen in the sun, grass drying up to become hay, and children getting rosy cheeks and running noses.

oct03

It is time to pull out wool, knitting needles, and patterns and knit the winter into my life!!

oct04

6 Comments
  1. You know, one can sit in the plains and romanticize about hilly winters, but the fact of the matter is that these winters can be harsh. Last week, I was at Minot, North Dakota and daytime temperatures were already down to 3deg C. With the wind chill, the cold had you gasping for breath as you stepped out. Jan-Feb will obviously be even more gut straining.

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    1. I agree with you totally, Anurag…but the fun of Ranikhet winters is that there is this clear sunlight through the day, the wind keeps quiet when the sun is shining, and I so love layering my woolies and using that great human invention–the electric blanket!! BUT, by Feb, my shoulders ache with the weight of the woolies and I feel like making a bonfire every evening, just with those woollies!

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  2. Mala, one of my friends who routinely faces a very harsh winter, had an interesting perspective on the adaptability of the human body. Per her, as one goes from fall to winter, one feels much colder as the body is adapting to the drop in temperature. Conversely, as one transitions from winters to spring, the same temperature that seemed cold in fall seem warmer. So if you’re finding the woollens heavy in February, its probably ‘coz they are not needed 🙂

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    1. now that is a good, good tip for that tough month of FEB!! will remember this and will confirm if that is the real issue behind those heavy woollens! We are having the first grey winter day of the season, and I am loving it! 🙂

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  3. Am already looking forward to Ranikhet winters. Daytime will have the to-die-for Himalayan view. And nights will be time to relive those childhood memories – huddled around a bukhari, drinking spiked coffee and reading World War books. It used to be Biggles then, more like Churchill and Shirer now………….

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    1. A quick reply to those winter dreams…get yourself some electric blankets,an invertor and some warm innerwear from Quechua…its so good to relive childhood memories with warm old bones ;-)!!

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