Thursday, November 3, 2011

Goosebumps and Shivers

Yes yes. I'm back to complaining about the cold. What else can i do while in Shimla you tell me? Ok, so i might be able to talk about the gorgeous sunsets and hot momos on Mall road, but where's the fun in that huh?

So, since the last time i wrote about the cold, it's gotten colder. Even the locals agree. Of course, they might not bundle up as i do. Or complain. But they all agree that the cold has arrived.Never has the sun felt as good as it does these days. While in the sun, a feeling of well being and contentment envelopes you, dousing you in it's warmth. Step out of it into the shade, and the goosebumps come forth. For me, i could be in 4 layers of clothes, including a sweater and a fleece jacket, and the goosebumpiness still remains. Evil i say. 

Such is the power of the cold that even a non-tea drinker like me looks forward to tea time - just so that i can grip that piping hot mug of chai with both my freezing hands like it was a lifesaving device. And even then the warmth refuses to remain. It's fleeting. Lasts as long as tea does.
And so, the heaters emerge. Those wonderful contraptions that make the cold bearable and the shivers go away. Even now, as i type this, i have this lovely heat being radiated at me, allowing the blood to flow through my extremities once more. Yes, it makes me the sissy daughterinlaw and no, i don't care. 

All i know is that when i get up from my place next to the heater, there will be an electric blanket waiting, all warm and welcoming, in bed for me.   

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

An Uphill Task

I love Shimla. It's where the Fellow grew up and I can't help love a place that has so many awesome memories, even if they don't belong to me. It's as different as could be from where i grew up, in Bombay. And so while i walked to school through the gallis in Juhu scheme, the Fellow ran through a forest. My after school activity mainly involved walking back through the same lanes and standing in front of my building gate, gossiping with friends. The fellow would go berry picking, coming back home with a full stomach and a happily juice-stained uniform. I grew up on vada pav, he did on momos (and rajma). My vacations were spent in the land of camels and sand while he went into the snow clad mountains and in the midst of apple orchards. 

But most importantly, he spent his formative years walking. Apparently in the Shimla of 20 yrs back, cars were primarily used by government officials to and from work. Other than that, everyone walked everywhere - to school, to the market, or even across town to meet a relative. Now, of course, cars have caught up with this mountain town. And instead of walking, you simply hop into your car and drive places. Which is a very good thing for me. No, don't get me wrong. I have nothing against fresh mountain air. I even enjoy it once in a while. It's just that i prefer my walking to happen as a dash across churchgate station when there is a minute for the Borivali fast to go. Or as a whole day spent walking around Colaba. What i can't do, is walk around Shimla. No wait. Correction. What i can't do, is walk uphill in Shimla.

Please note that i can walk uphill on a treadmill without too much of a problem (at least it wasn't too much trouble the one time i tried it) It's when the upward slope is combined with a rarity of oxygen my lungs are not used to that i'm in trouble. I mean, i grew up at sea level and here i was, panting my way up a mountain at 8000 ft above that. Obviously i was going to start drawing up my will. Of course, there is that little factor called weight that i carry around, which can only make the uphill walk worse. How? Well, let's just say that  i fear the burn in my lungs will result in internal combustion. That, or i'll just faint where i stand because there is no way i could draw another breath. What? I'm being honest here.

And no. Even if i was 10 kgs lighter (sigh, what dreams are made of), the oxygen would still be super rare and i would still be clutching my chest in pain and agony as i walked up to reach the in-laws waiting patiently on top of the hill for me.