While walking down the busy footpaths, wherever it did exist, on Main Street, I was suddenly impressed by the flash colours which caught the eye.
No, this was not carnival time in Pune. It was just that the Weather Gods had finally decided that after months of heat and rain, the people of this wonderful city needed a break.
It wasn’t that much of a break either. The barometer hovered around the 13-15 deg C mark but zealous citizens searched cupboards for warm winter wear which they had stashed away in a corner somewhere.
So, out they came in sweaters – black, blue, white, yellow, pink – flashing as they hurried on Main Street.
There were some with shawls, mufflers, jackets, hoodies and gloves too. Winter had arrived suddenly and there was hope that it would last at least until the end of this year.
And here I was, shuffling around in a shirt, half-sleeved and the perennial jeans. There were quizzical looks but it was my life, my problem.
Before we go any further let me tell you categorically that I am one of those gents who are living proof of the fact that we descended from apes.
Blessed with bountiful hair, we are God’s chosen ones. Come winter, rain or shine, everything is always fine.
I wore a sweater when I was a baby and probably in school. But that was it. As the boy grew into man, there was no question of buying all the winter stuff.
Pune was very cold then. The temperature would fall almost to 4 deg C and people would shiver after nightfall.
But on the deserted road in East Street, a young man would whizz by on a scooter after night shift, four buttons open of his shirt as was the fashion then.
Yes it was me. No jackets, no sweaters. The cold hit me raw and biting, but I enjoyed it.
There was a feeling of ecstasy on the wheels and if I had a piece of pen and paper I would have written a poem worthy of the masters. If that wasn’t enough, I felt that the blanket was just another hindrance to avail the beauty of sleep.
Blankets can be a pain, let me tell you. They are weight and they keep slipping off the body whenever you toss and turn. Down with blankets, I say.
Now to the question of having a bath. Most people enjoy the hot water adding warmth to the body as it touches you. Being of a different ilk, I go for the cold water.
No, don’t shudder in disgust. It’s not as icy as you think. The first few splashes are but later it is smooth sailing.
I have found a simple method. You can improve your dancing and footwork while as the first streams of cold water hits your body. You can practise your dance steps while the cold stream plays with your body initially.
I have improved my dancing in this manner and today have moved from the Man with the Two Left Feet to John Travolta.
Just when I was impressing the huge crowd with my skills to the tune of Staying Alive, I felt someone waking me up.
A man in a white coat sternly looked at me and barked out, “You are a lucky man. You would have died of double pneumonia if you had not been brought here on time…”
Oh well. I adjusted the five blankets and went into Dreamland, this time visiting Iceland in winter in a full-sleeve shirt.
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