The North Winds Bloweth In….


The New Year has started with cold waves hitting the shores of Mumbai. December was pretty warm and it felt as if winter was evading the Mumbaikers, leaving them high and dry. I recall, December 31st (2012) was extremely humid and warm. It was New Year’s Eve and, we brought in the new year with some of the neighbors of our building, but it felt like I was in the sauna, beads of sweat trickling down my forehead. And then, the clock struck 12, and all of Mumbai was on fire, with firecrackers galore and people burning the “old man”! Mumbai was a 100 degrees warmer for the next few hours.

Thinking or believing we were in the “winter” season felt outrageous, and January 1st felt miserable too. However, the days following January 1st have been pretty cool, although it’s no winter, by any stretch of the imagination.

Now I know it should not bother me that I am unable to experience a real winter in Mumbai, when there are other things that I should really concern myself with. But it does bother me and it irritates me that I can’t count on any respite from the heat and humidity, something I have to endure from March through November. Having lived in San Francisco for a decade, where one could really experience a “winter” and I could feel and appreciate the change in seasons, winters in Mumbai are only in name. In reality, I personally don’t believe that I will ever get to experience a winter in Mumbai again (although for the life of me, I can’t understand how and why people are wearing sweaters and shawls in this weather. I think it’s more psychological than anything else).

It is about 10:30 pm on a Wednesday night, and the weather channel has reported that the current temperature in Mumbai is 26 degrees Celsius (78 degrees Fahrenheit). Tomorrow’s high will be 31 degrees Celsius (69 degrees Fahrenheit). The low will be 21 degrees Celsius (81 degrees Fahrenheit). So there you have it – Mumbai’s version of winter for you!

Moving up towards the North of India, winter has a whole new meaning. Winter is actually true to its word, bringing with it chill factors, foggy nights, and cups and cups of hot, hot, chai. Tomorrow’s forecast for Delhi indicates that the high is 18 degrees Celsius ( 64 degrees Fahrenheit) and the low is 6 degrees Celsius (43 degrees Fahrenheit). A few days ago, it was 2 degrees Celsius during the day! I have never really liked Delhi, but certainly envy their winters, no matter how extreme it may be.

Rumor has it that the North Winds are only passing through Mumbai…..soon, it will be warm and humid again and the days are going to get muggy. We shall see. Until then, I’ll take what I can get (there’s my “attitude of gratitude” kicking in again) and keep my fingers crossed that Mumbai continues to see some cool weather for the next few months!

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