A Rosy Tale of Winter

This city has started taking place in my heart. With the green monsoon, here comes the winter!

There comes a day when the early rising Punekar will step out of his house, pause in slight surprise, and try to clear his eyes. When the blurriness remains, the he realizes that the light fog is to blame for the reduced visibility and that winter has arrived on padded feet.

Winter arrives quietly in Pune and is greeted with relief by the city. Pune has always lived, figuratively and literally, in the shadow of a metropolis that makes much of its monsoons. But winter is a season Pune can lay claim to as its own. Unlike the disruptive machismo of the Bombay rains, Pune's winter is gentle in both arrival and tenure, mirroring the  happy and laid-back ways of the place. A trip down the sleek Mumbai-Pune expressway through the misty Western Ghats more than amplifies this difference.

In the Pink The phrase that the locals use to describe the first month of the winter says it all. Punekars bask in “gulaabii thandii”, literally the “rosy cold”. During this time, citizens, in their light woolens, can be seen bearing a light rosiness of both cheek and demeanor.

Since Pune's winters are temperate, especially in comparison with the frigid bitterness of many North Indian towns, they can rouse residents to action rather than cause them to cower behind a thick quilt. Once the indolence of the early cold morning is defeated, a walk in the balmy ambiance is the best way to kick off a day. Given that parts of commercially booming Pune are sometimes be-deviled by smog towards the evenings, the mornings remain the best time to soak up the sun-kissed winter at the 'tekri'.

A favorite‘ tekdi’ or hillock. Pune is blessed with an abundance of these easy-to-climb hillocks, which offer vantage views of the city, especially in the late evenings. Many of these tekdis have a temple at the summit, providing the spiritually-minded with a reward for their exertions. For the more material at heart, tekdis also offer flat summits for exploration and the pleasant company of fellow wanderers.

A favorite variation of this is to walk up the nearest

Winter is also Avian Season for bird watchers. Many lakes in and around Pune receive several varieties of migratory birds. Pune has inspired many as amateur ornithologists.

Since winters in Pune rarely descend into single digit temperatures, the city is never hobbled by the weather. As January ends and the sun becomes less oblique, winter fades away just as gently as it arrived. Each year, the hard-to-impress Pune old-timer will insist that the city was not what it used to be. But come next November, this sentiment will be assuaged by the winters of Pune's content.


1 comment:

Debjani Basu Basu said...

So clear and interesting description! I am glad acquiring some knowledge.