I hear this statement every single day my maid walks into the house. She is beyond belief about how “cold” it is in Mumbai and how it never used to be so cold. And I often respond saying that it’s pleasant in Mumbai, and not cold at all. She looks at me dumbfounded, thinking that I am from another planet. I look at her astounded, thinking she probably feels cold because she has not an ounce of fat on her body, unlike me…Of course she would be cold. She is like a stick!
I really cannot say if it is cold or not in Mumbai as I have not lived through the winters of Mumbai in the last 10 years. To me, it is not winter because it does not feel like winter, at least the winter I was used to where you had to wear gloves, boots, and be constantly bundled up in a warm jacket with a chill factor that hit your bones.
I must say that I am able to sit in a room without a fan on, on most days. That is certainly an indication that the weather is pleasant during the day, and quite cool at night…but not cold. I know that I am comparing the winter of San Francisco to that of Mumbai and I am probably not the best person to determine how winter is defined in Mumbai. I must ask the people I see, on a daily basis from my window, who wear ear muffs, people who are clad in sweaters and shawls, and those people who sit on the streets huddled up in front of make-shift fires made from scarp, what winter in Mumbai actually is like. They are probably the best judge on the winter temperatures of Mumbai.
I just spoke to someone who said she is wearing a sweater and stockings in the middle of the day because she was feeling cold. It is 29 degrees Celsius (84 degrees Fahrenheit), and that is cold for her! Now, I suspect that a lot of people in Mumbai would say 29 degrees is cold when they are accustomed to 36 to 38 degrees Celsius in the summer with 100% humidity. Or, it could just be that people realize that, on a logical level, we are in the winter season, and are trying to fit their wardrobes and actions to mirror the concept of “winter”? Not sure what to make of all of this.