I’ve always been a fan of winter. Besides for obvious reasons like winter sunlight, chocolate, popcorn, bedbound Sundays and electric blankets, I have found that It’s always so much easier to appear less fat in the cold. Bulky jackets aside, winter boasts none of this chiffon nonsense or stretch monstrosities that are designed to keep you cool at the expense off displaying an unflattering amount of your figure, or the sheer cotton affairs that inevitably need to be layered with a million things to prevent see-through.
No, winter is about strong fabrics, layering and long clothes that are always great for people like me because aside from the fatness issue, winter automatically lends itself to thoughtless shariah compliant outfits. It’s always a great feeling knowing you’re wearing a cardigan because you’re genuinely cold and not because you need sleeves to layer on top of your sleeveless summer dress (automatically eliminating any cooling effects that said summer dress has to offer).
Sadly this weather does not resemble any version of cold that I am familiar with, but rather bears striking semblance to a horrific Antarctic simulation and thus is in all honesty the reason for lacking blog posts and productivity in general. Schools in Kashmir have shifted to winter timings already and despite school only starting at 10 am everyday, I set my alarm for 7, so that I have enough time to eat, contemplate a shower, bask in the sun, watch some pointless television and blog. Sadly that worked for a few days only, somewhere near the beginning of October and as the month progressed, less and less time was allocated to achieving morning objectives that did not include assured warmth or edibles. And so today, while my alarm still goes off promptly at 7, and my good intentions still stand, I find myself sinking further into bed for another hour before a quick bathroom dash and breakfast accumulation, after which I spend the remaining two hours before school basking in the glorious morning sun, all the while justifying to myself that actions are based on intentions.
The days, while not as cold as the mornings and evenings, are consumed by tireless kids, relentless math problems and never-ending administration avoidance and by time the time school ends, mandatory afternoon naps follow. On especially cold days, naps are replaced by trips to the bakarwals or to the fire in the downstairs kitchen in aid of keeping your wudu for as many salaahs as possible. Afternoon tea, essential to regulating your body temperature back to normality, coincides with sunset as do the sporadic electricity cuts that never seem to stick to the predetermined cut schedule and so the time between tea and dinner at 9 is generally spent drooling over the latest food safari episode or in the weekends, watching the best that Indian reality tv has to offer.
The time after dinner is spent contemplating, attempting and ultimately avoiding or postponing productivity efforts and depending on your resolve to continue trying, the degree of coldness and the ridiculousness of whatever the television has to offer, bed follows some time after.
I guess once all things are considered, there does seem like a lot of time for potential productivity from after tea to bedtime, but really once the sun goes down, any activity that requires the removal of your hands from under your shawl, is frowned upon and only worth considering if there is food involved. There’s something about winter, I have decided, that blurs the lines between coldness, tiredness and hunger, often rendering them interchangeable and thus feelings of any of the three are almost always resolved by adding more layers, consuming more tea and chocolate or crawling under heavy blanket mounds, sadly leaving little space for productivity of any sort.