Posted On: Dec 7 2019 7:05AM
With the onset of summer, we may initially get some needed respite from the cold, we later start to feel the heat. In many parts of India, summers are brutal when the temperature touches 48-50 degree Centigrade. As the summer progresses, we wish for cooler weather and as each month goes by, we count the number of months remaining for winter.
Winter actually creeps up on us; one morning when we wake up, we feel the chill in the air. We then know that old man Winter is knocking on our doors bringing with him cold weather. A smile appears on our faces as we welcome him; anything to escape the heat is really great, isn't it? As the days progress, this chill grows; this is a signal for us to take our warm clothes and jackets out of storage and make them ready to wear.
Those of us who have lived in Shimla or Kashmir or abroad in countries where there are four seasons, have witnessed the unique spectacle of leaves changing color from green to yellow to orange to red to brown before falling off the trees. This annual phenomenon indicates the onset of autumn that soon makes way for winter.
Winter is an enjoyable time and while daylight is less than other months, it also provides us an opportunity to bond by spending more time indoors with friends and family, cooking, watching a movie or just chatting. Those of us who like outdoor sports head to hill stations where opportunities to ski are abundant.
Winter is also a time when we can enjoy seasonal food, some of the ingredients that go into these dishes is only harvested and available at this time.
Who can resist the aroma and taste of fresh Gajar Ka Halwa or Carrot Halwa? While carrots are available year round, a special type of pink carrot or Delhi Carrot as it is known, is only available during winter. The Gajar Ka Halwa made from these carrots has a unique color and taste. These carrots are fortunately available in other states also and one can get the familiar smell of Gajar Ka Halwa from many homes.
Gajak and Rewri are another type of crunchy delicacy that are prepared specially during the winter months. A type of brittle or Chikki, Gajak and Rewri are made from sesame seeds and jaggery. One may wonder what’s so special about Gajak. It is said that the combination of sesame and jaggery helps the body to keep warm. Moreover, the cold weather helps the delicacy to set, which in heat will melt and get soft.
Green Peas make their appearance during winter; who can let go freshly made green pea stuffed Samosas and Kachoris?
Winter is a time when the air quality is a lot better than other months; there is less dust pollution and less suspended particles in the air. While most of us can afford to keep warm, we do need to lend a helping hand to those who are less fortunate and struggle to keep their families safe from the sometime bitter cold.
A few months into winter, we start to long for some warm weather and with spring disappearing into summer, the cycle repeats itself!