Winter, Where Art Thou

Winter or Summer
Image used for representation only.

Have you perchance noticed that tempers are wearing thin?

Punekars, never fond of each other at the best of times, are resorting these days to snappy ill-tempered outbursts, interspersed with rude sniping at the slightest provocations, and are only too happy to provide a generous garnish of biting, sarcastic asides for no reason whatsoever. The city, simply put, is in a rather bad mood.

And what’s more, dear reader, so it should be. November is all but over, and there is not a trace of winter in the air. Nary a whiff. “Where”, you can hear the entire city ask plaintively, “ is the season that provides such glorious pleasure?”

There is a hint, these mornings, that all will be well. At around the time of sunrise, there hangs in the air a gentle fog, still and full of portent. The temperature drops just a little, and Punekars beam at each other, and wonder if mothballed sweaters shouldn’t be gotten out of trunks and attics. The entire city waits with bated breath…

… and then collectively snorts in disgust by around 9 in the morning, as an obnoxiously cheerful sun lords it over cloudless skies, and Pune waits one more day for winter to come. Fans still need to be kept on, you can hear Punekars moan at each other during breakfast, and bikers at signals look at each other during the day, noting wistfully the complete lack of sweaters, scarves and gloves.

Why, before you know it we will be through December and into the nineteenth year of the twenty-first century. A month or so after that and summer will be upon us.

We have not a day to waste of this, the queen of all seasons, and yet it refuses to oblige.The temperatures during the day stay stubbornly north of thirty, and the night-time temperatures are more familiar with the twenties, rather than single digits.

Now, I know that every Punekar worth her salt knows the following to be a cliche, but I must still say it: Pune wasn’t like this in the old days. It really did use to be quite chilly by November, and positively freezing by December. Why, it was all but impossible to walk barefoot at home, so cold would the floor be during the day. But those days, I’m sad to say, seem to definitely be a thing of the past.

Winter may still yet arrive and allow us to walk around with a smile on our face, but the days of really and truly cold weather seem to have gone forever. From now on in, it would seem, is the time of harsher summers and ever milder winters – when everyone I know would willingly have paid an arm and a leg to have it the other way around.

But as I was saying, the most worrisome thing right now is the fact that it looks like not even a mild winter – it might well end up being no winter at all. And if that is not a horror story in five hundred words or so, I don’t know what is.

Ashish Kulkarni

Ashish Kulkarni

Ashish is a confirmed Punekar, which guarantees eternal undying love for the city, but also mandates an incurable sense of cynicism about it.

He doesn't expect the paradox to be resolved in his lifetime
Ashish Kulkarni