We really aren’t used to winters, we tropical girls. We’re used to the sun on our faces, sprinkles of freckles on our shoulders and feeling the earth beneath our bare feet. And at most maybe adding a bobble hat if we go to the mountains, or a hoodie against the chill. On December trips for European winters we’ve experienced that peeling of layers as we return to central heating, and a fire we can toast our toes in front of.
So a Delhi winter was a whole new experience, a whole new level of cold that crept its way right into our bones. Our blissfully cool in summer marble floors felt like sheet ice beneath our feet. Our lack of heating took layering to a whole new level, and climbing into bed felt like “The Princess and the Pea” except we slept under all the layers, not on them! Thermals, and gloves, and chunky tights with thick wooly socks knitted by ladies in the Himalayas who truly know cold became part of our days. Two plug in radiators to wheel squeakily from living room to bedroom, and back again. Breakfasts of steaming bowls of masala oats to warm us from within. Hot spicy chai and delicious nutritious soups, with a swirling scattering of chili flakes or zaatar. Evenings watching TV snuggled under our yak wool blankets with all our feet resting on said heaters or intertwined with each other for warmth.
We felt for the people on the streets of our city. Huddled round fires at night, or sleeping in temporary tents lining the pavements. The weather office confirmed our suspicions. The coldest January in 50 odd years, and the wettest since records began! There was a small comfort in knowing it was a particularly bad one, not simply that we’re wimps! But when it’s 5 degrees and you can see your breath, inside, that knowledge doesn’t keep you warm!!
What kept us warm was embracing the light, as we try to most days. The beautiful, golden light, that lit up our living room for just 15 minutes early each morning as the sun rose and wrapped it’s arms around our east facing apartment, before it moved on with it’s day, and brought a smile to other Delhiites. It didn’t happen every day, and sometimes we could feel it struggling to try and smile through the pollution and fog, but when it did grace us with it’s presence, we sat in it, and basked in it’s short glow, and we smiled too.
This post is part of Artifact Motherhood, a collaboration of artists/mothers from around the world. Sharing stories of the joys and struggles of our journey. Our hopes and dreams for our children. With little nuggets of wisdom or refelections on life here and there. These are more than photographs with dates written on the back. These are the artifacts we are leaving behind for our children and the generations to come.
Next please visit the wonderful Rose Dedman HERE
March 2022 | New Delhi | India