….Okay, maybe that image isn’t the most accurate description of Mumbai’s winter
It’s that time of the year again when mercury hits astonishing (note the sarcasm) lows in the range of 25-28 degrees… We Mumbaikars get roughly 15-20 days a year respite from the incessant heat and humidity which makes this city, as a friend from Taiwan aptly said, ‘one giant steam pot’.
You can’t blame us for getting all excited about this time of the year! we’ve deserved it after 10 agonizing months of summer heat, or rainfall. The whole atmosphere of the city changes as the temperature drops. While it’s definitely never cold enough here, winter has a strange effect on people’s behaviour in Mumbai, something that deserves to be studied in detail and possibly included as a chapter in psychology books.
First among the idiots are the ad makers. They herald the impending (which always becomes delayed) onset of winter roughly 2 months in advance. They start showing us dreamy snow-covered landscapes, temperate forests with conifers in the background, and models wearing heaps of wool. This unrelatable charade is used to try to sell us everything from sweaters, to fairness creams, to…. get this…. INSURANCE POLICIES!
Next are the neighbourhood aunties who dig through their cupboards and pull out all the winter wear from last year. I bet a 100 bucks most of them aren’t really feeling cold, all they want to do is wear those sweaters so they can justify holding on to them all year (or better yet, finally convince their husbands they need new sweaters this year to keep up with fashion). A shout out to companies selling winter fashion here… guys! Everyone knows it! It’s the same stuff as last year, and the year before that! No need to act like you guys have racked your brains to come up with something new. Winter wear in Mumbai doesn’t exactly sell like hot cakes. Personally, I wear shorts to enjoy the winter as much as I can. We’re anyways going to be cooked in a couple of weeks.
We Gujaratis deserve a special mention. Normally, throughout the year we love to gorge on all sorts of food which will inevitably lead us to the cardiac specialist one day. Therefore, most of us have already got a thick layer of fat around our midriff (no thanks to genetics!) for insulation. However, come winter, and Gujarati households will start preparing winter-time sweets. Two popular ones are called ‘Adadiyo’ and ‘Methipak’. For anyone unfamiliar with these names, they’re simply sweets made with a few herbs and spices, basically things that keep the body warm. My house is no different, and any attempts by me to question the need for any ADDITIONAL need of warmth, or to point out that these foods are more useful in the interiors of the country where winter is harsher are quickly shot down. Who can argue with them? Adadiyo sure is tasty!
However, before you dismiss me as an eternal complainer, let me tell you winter is definitely my most favourite time of the year. There are certain things that can ONLY be enjoyed in this season. Walking outside under the afternoon sun is a pleasure not to be missed! Sleeping in late, or an afternoon nap (if you’re lucky) are a close second. And who can forget a cup of hot coffee on a nice and cool winter morning! The daily commute seems less irritating, sitting in your car after letting it be under the sun for 15 minutes doesn’t feel like being in an oven, no ones BO or pit stains bother you, and no need to glance at the ceiling fan every 5 minutes wondering if its working… aah such pleasures aren’t found any other time of the year.
But, like all things good, this won’t last much longer. I bet before I have 10 people read this article, summer will have started. In the mean time, where’s that delicious Adadiyo 😀