Blog Challenge

Winter is my queen! [ #writebravely ]

“It is the life of the crystal, the architect of the flake, the fire of the frost, the soul of the sunbeam. This crisp winter air is full of it. ” – John BurroughsΒ 

I am one of those hot-blooded creatures who awaits the onset of winters with bated breath every year. Thats because I simply adore the cold weather. The breath fogging up, misty veils hanging on the trees in the parks and that razor-sharp chilly air that jolts you awake with a fresh adrenalin rush.

Winter is my season to bloom!

They call me all sorts of names – my many friends and cousins who simply dread the cold and can’t wait for it to go away.

I say bring it on!

I love sunning in the lazy winter sun after lunch; snoozing off for a bit in its toasty coziness. Tea making is a whole new ritual in winters as is eating a lot of hot sweets like halwa and kheer. Not to mention, stuffing my pockets with dry fruits to munch on the whole day. And have you seen the winter veggies we get? Oh man I can’t wait for winter to come knocking soon!

Let me enthrall you with some of my winter tales from last season!

January 2017 saw me fulfill my wish of watching a snowfall when I went up to Srinagar to stay with one of my school besties- Yasmin. As I sat in the airport cab, I rolled down the window to stick my head out while the driver switched on the heater and rubbed his hands together. I requested him to turn it off as I was feeling too warm in the cab. He gave me the most incredulous look but complied.

Yasmin was no better. She would freeze as soon as she would step out of the warm cocoon of her super heated room while I would breath in the chill and feel invigorated. She would step into stores/cafes and ask for a heater or for them to shut the door while I wanted to sit outdoor and enjoy the cold.

A sight of the calmness on the Dal lake that cold winter afternoon while the Houseboats maintained a silent vigil.

Quest for a Shikara ride

I wanted to go on a long lazy Shikara ride on the Dal lake; she looked at me like I had just split my guts out. Her driver also shook his head in dismay at my request and tried to convince me its a loony idea as I would freeze on the ice-cold waters.

I was adamant and got into a Shikara while they headed home. The plan was I would ride on the lake from this point to the point near home; while they drove off in the cozy confines of the car. The driver told Yasmin, ” Why is she so crazy? I bet you she is going to call in 5 minutes to help her off the shikara.”Β Β IΒ laughed my head off when I heard this later, for you see it was the best Shikara ride in a lifetime for me.

I loved the reflection of the tall peaks surrounding the Dal lake, in its calm waters.

The icy waters were still and quiet; no one had ventured out. The calm surface of the lake was dotted with scores of migratory birds which flitted away as soon as we reached near. The water was a rich canvas to the snow veiled peaks and the skeletal silhouettes of trees which formed beautiful inverted images on it.

Char Chinar (Four Maple) Island

This is Char Chinar island on the Dal Lake which has one Chinar/Maple tree on each corner. With age/weather the trees have been replaced over the years. I loved this sight of the bare trees standing tall in welcome as I approached the island in the Shikara

I meandered on the lake for almost two hours; while Yasmin waited at home convinced I had frozen into a popsicle on the lake πŸ˜‰

The Shikara I went for a ride in; this is when I bid it adieu and took a picture as a keepsake

The valley of flowers A.K.A Gulmarg

Next day, I headed out for Gulmarg – the ski destination of Kashmir. Yasmin refused to go as it was snowing cats and dogs out there. After a two-hour drive (again no heater and the poor driver was freezing; so he switched it on and off), I reached the lower region of Tangmarg from where one has to hire cars which put chains on the tyres to avoid slipping in the snow.

I had never seen such snow and was enthralled by the soft powder floating down in gentle flurries that soon started to drench me. Oh Oh!!! I realised snow is after all water and it melts. Soon my shawl was soaking wet with it while I tried my best to protect my camera gear from getting wet. Yes I do have my priorities right! πŸ˜‰

This is one crazy vista of the snowfall in Gulmarg where everything was rendered a soft powdery white. The tops of cottages covered with snow looked like tall cupcakes from a distance!

I walked for 4 hours in the falling snow and couldn’t get enough of it. The pictures didn’t come out as sharp as I would like as the weather had turned hazy. But that didn’t stop me from shooting non stop.

When I reached back home after spending the whole day in Gulmarg, Yasmin could only shake her head and call me loony while she snuggled deeper in her quilt! She simply couldn’t imagine how I had fun when all I could do was sigh and wish I had been able to stay the night in Gulmarg.

I cannot explain my glee of walking in the snow, watching the snowfall or just simply waking up to a landscape rendered a silent white in the night. But I do know one thing, winter is my queen and I wait for it with bated breath this year too.

Do you love winters? Do you await them with bated breath? What is your favourite winter memory?

Check out my winter love in previous posts:

terminal-nostalgia-write-tribe-problogger-challenge-write-bravely-pattern-bankI am taking part in The Write Tribe Problogger October 2017 Blogging Challenge and the prompt for the day is Bated Breath.

If you would like to read the posts on previous prompts:

#writebravely #writetribeproblogger

I’m taking part in the Write Tribe ProBlogger Challenge.

Also linking up with Sanch for the Friday Reflections


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55 thoughts on “Winter is my queen! [ #writebravely ]

  1. Here in Kerala, we do not have winter as such. But, witnessing a snowfall is a dream πŸ™‚ Also, how beautiful is the Dal lake and how clear is the reflection in the waters!! Lovely

    1. I love Kerala; had a wonderufl trip to Wayand some years ago and this year was in Fort Kochi; envy the monsoon you guys enjoy down there; what part of Kerala are you in Bhavya?
      I belong to J&K but this was the first time in over 40 years that I could see a snowfall; guess it took me a lifetime to see it and thats why I cherish it even more!!!!
      You have to visit it and see it all for yourself!!

        1. I fell in love with Fort Kochi – wish I could relocate there and work and live there! It would be ideal for me; the food -seafront and the warm vibrant buzz in the air there – loved it to death! I had visited during the Biennale!!

  2. You sure are a winter person. I don’t like cold at all. But I guess when the view is as stunning as this I might change my mind. These photos are dreamlike. I so want to see this in real now. I love your adventurous spirit

    1. Oh yes winters for me any and everytime πŸ˜‰ You have to see a snowfall; its unlike anything I have ever witnessed in my lifetime and cant get enough of it Raj !! πŸ™‚

  3. My favourite winter memory ( albeit in Pune) is sitting out in the back verandah of my father’s house and munching on sweet and sour oranges in the warm, feeble sun, huddled under a shawl that still bore my mother’s scent……
    As for you Shalz does this mean that you are hot blooded ( always warm so don’t feel the cold) or an actual poikilotherm?

    1. Oooh what a yummy word – Poikilotherm! I had to look it up and was a tad bit disappointed. Frogs, reptiles – ugh!!! πŸ˜‰
      Ok So I guess I am generally just hot bloded (have a temper to vouch for that) and feel hotter than cold! I hate summers and its heat and mugginess! Give me winters anytime. Thanks for sharing such a warm memory with me; oranges are my fav winter fruits, next to kinnows…. I am so looking forward to getting my Vitamin C dosage this winters!! πŸ™‚

      1. Sorry just had to make a dig …. hope you’re not offended. I used to feel really cold till I became older ( and definitely not wiser ) . Now everyone else feels cold while I enjoy the bracing weather

        1. Oh not at all Sunita- I love word play and am delighted that you took out time to find such a yummy one for me!!! πŸ˜‰
          And I thought people feel colder with age- guess you skipped that!! πŸ˜‰

  4. I have a dream to visit Kashmir someday. I love the mountains, hope i can go there soon. Winter is my favourite season too. Kashmir is so beautiful. I really hope we are able to protect it.

    1. Oh I wish you do get to visit Kashmir and in any and every season as that place is just too beautiful and has to be enjoyed in all its colours πŸ™‚

  5. Oh I love winters too! However, I wish I had your kind of immunity. I love the season for the wonderful veggies that flood the market and hot gajjar halwas that it brings with it. It’s also the season to dress well! I’ve yet to have such a close encounter with snow, though. I simply loved the pictures, especially the one shot from the shikara of the ranges in the distance. Your beautiful words have added an extra edge to these pictures. I’m craving for winters now!

    1. Oh thank you for such lavish praise Vinodini!! I am over the moon πŸ™‚
      I dont have an immunity to the cold, I just layer well and protect my head – most peeps dont wear caps in winters – it spoils the hair!!!!! πŸ˜‰ Yes this was an enchanting enounter with the now and I hope to repeat it soonest! Yes me too is craving winters as the Delhi heat is still pretty strong; hopefully will turn post Diwali!! πŸ™‚

  6. Oh.. I love winters too. Especially because I’ve never experienced it until recently. There isn’t much winter in Kerala you know. Loved to see your Kashmir tales again.

    1. Wait till the snow hits your area this winters – you are gonna revel in it!! I am hoping to see tonnes of pics of the snow and hot cups and all that brews in your kitchen to celebrate it πŸ™‚

  7. You are the Queen of snow and thrilling adventure. I love my winter decent and definitely prefer it over the dreaded summer. Sounds exciting to see you ride over the Shikara. Are you made of metal?

    1. Metal becomes super cold πŸ˜‰ So no not made of metal; I just believe in layering well, something ppl ignore in winters! I love my caps which prevent the head cold and keep me snug and warm!! So yeah I love my wintes and that shikara ride is something I want to do again!! πŸ™‚

  8. Fancy visiting Switzerland then? Winters are going to kick in and its amazing for a winter lover like you. I am a summer girl and I was cursing myself for this trip in winter – last year I visited in winter and I hate wearing those bulky clothes. Thankfully the weather has been awesome this week

    1. Are you gifting me a trip to swiss delights!!!! I am game!! πŸ™‚
      Yeah wearing those bulky clothes can be a pain but hte trick to surviving the cold is layering it up smartly; so many peeps I know especially all the Kashmiris I met – they dont wear thermals at all!!! Only top clothese – no wonder they are freezing all the time!! I love my caps and hats and snuggle in them in winters to keep out the cold and once my head is covered, I tend to feel less cold!
      Hope the awesome weather continues- Salud to a wonderful trip Aks!!

  9. My best winter memories were the two winters in my life when I lived in Florida and there was no snow. Right now I live in a part of the United States where we get our fair share of snow. No winter veggies here, unless you grew them in the summer (we get veggies imported from South America in our stores). Last year we set a record – 135.2 inches of the white stuff. Feel free to visit me and help us shovel!

    1. Ha ha Ha Alana – dont invite me I will just land up as I havent had the experience of shovelling snow yet πŸ˜‰ I remember connecting on some of your winter posts with similar sentiments! Gosh I love it but yes I can quite imagine it s a pain when it freezes the pipes and no going in and out of the house till its shovelled clear!! Sad bit about the winter food as thats the best bit about winters for me!! πŸ™‚

  10. I love winters though I feel cold a lot more than most people. Everything about winters right from food, basking in the sun, moongfali and revaris, clothes and the cozy feeling in the quilt is amazing! Oh, Srinagar is BEAUTIFUL in winters!! You have captured the beauty of Srinagar in your lens so amazingly well! Loved the pics!

  11. You’ve really captured the ambience of winter with your words and images. I’m Australian and consequently have never seen snow! But I think you’ve inspired me to fix that.

    1. Thanks so much for stopping by!! Hmmm Oz doesnt get snow anywhere – is it? I am glad my post enticed you enough to think of a visit to a snow laden destination – do tell me how it went!!! πŸ™‚

  12. Beautifully written piece, Shalini. Several years ago, I was in the US on an assignment and the winter enthralled me even if the temperatures were ridiculously low. I don’t think I like extremes of any weather. But yes, winter has its charms. I loved the pictures of the Dal lake and the Gulmarg cottages covered in snow. I liked your metaphor of that too – tall cupcakes, eh? Wonderful! πŸ™‚

  13. Man, you are one garam mirchi, Shalz! Hehehe….
    As for me, I don’t like extremes, neither should it be too hot, nor too cold. No, actually, I do enjoy winters, provided I am well covered in sweaters and shawls and the fluffy razaai! I do feel lazy in winters and I enjoy the feeling; I also get a chance to have a few pegs more of my fav Vodka in the winters, but, alas, Mumbai knows no winters! Sigh. So, I make do with whatever it is that we get! πŸ˜›
    I loved the pictures, Shalz. Esp, the Char Chinar island and the Shikaara picture! Too good! How I would love to go there!

    1. Thanks Shilpa πŸ˜‰ Garam mirchi indeed!!!!
      I hear you on the razai and shawls and the laziness thats ephemeral in winters – but thats whats the best part of it na !!?!
      I prefer living in North India, largely due to the winter factor – I lived in bangalore for a while and hated the fact that there was no dilli wali sardi there πŸ˜‰
      Cheers for one more shot of Vodka Shilps!!

  14. I love winters, it’s just much gu and easier! And I do shiver a lot too, but ain’t it fun to sip tea and enjoy the cold:)
    Lovely clicks! Miss Kashmir been ages

  15. Shalzz! When ever we meet should have that big High-Five on this point. Same like you i love winters and while my family and frnds are like shivering top to bottom i enjoy that cool breeze and love to bathe with that chilled water (Did the same on my manali trip :-P) It gives me a refreshing feeling..!
    I loved the captures the mirror images are stunning btw!

    1. Aiyoooo cold water is a no no- I bathe in warm water the year around!!! How could you bathe in Manali in cold water – brrrrrrrrrrrrr!! I went blue as I read it πŸ˜‰
      Thank you for liking the pics – I couldnt stop clicking and have tonnes of them from this trip!!:-)

      1. Yeah that’s what everyone ask me β€œhow can u bathe in cold water?!?!” But what can i do hot water even though its luke warm tends to create a burning sensation…. so all cold for cold me hehehe!

  16. I love winter too, but I live in the South so its never quite so cold. We’ve gotten snow before a couple times here and there since I’ve lived here, but it never sticks around for very long.

    1. Ah atlast I read one person saying they love winters too!! I have been hearing only about how dreaded it is for everyone!!;-) I loved the snow experience a lot though I am told try shovelling it. I think for me the sight of snowfall was the best thing about the snow – it looks so surreal and romantic. I could look out the window for hours!!

      1. Well for me, I get really warm easily so I hate being too hot because of it. What I love about winter is that I can wear boots and jeans and I like the way snow falls on the ground. I also like that it’s usually cool outside, sometimes cold, and that I can drink hot chocolate because I’m not a big fan of coffee.

    1. Ha ha Rohan- most folks I know are not winter people; I have hardly met anyone who is!! πŸ˜‰
      YUp the trick to surving winters is layering!! I just cant wait to go again in the winters to enjoy the snow once again!!

    1. Ooof you must! The whiteness lends such a surreal effect to the landscape- its a sight for the sore eyes!! I cant get enough of it and thanks to my friend who lives there and puts up with me whenever I go there, I get to enjoy my Kashmir trips hugely!!! πŸ™‚

  17. Beautiful pictures! I have never been to Srinagar and your post entices me to plan a trip there!
    And the winters, oh I’m so worried about the Delhi winters already! Been some time I had faced them!

    1. Oh my there are hardly any winters in Delhi now Nibhz!! I wish we could have atleast 3 months of winter times but its dwindled to now 1 month at best – the sun gets too hot in the daytime. So I dont think you need to worry!! πŸ˜‰

  18. I love winter too.. though to be fair, Bombay’s winter is really just a milder summer. But next month I’m off to Jammu myself so I’ll experience a relief winter there. Your pictures make me wait with bated breath for my trip!

    1. I know there is no winters after North India πŸ˜‰ Tho every year I see ppl cribbing about how cold bombay has become!! I pull their legs by asking if their monkey caps are out πŸ˜‰
      Jammu is as hot as Delhi, so Nov is not really cool there but you must try the drive on the newly constructed road to srinagar – enjoy the pit stops , the view and the tunnels!! Do tell me if you go on the drive!! Its amazing out there

  19. You know, when I was in India, I loved winter because Bombay winters were pretty mild. Since coming to Australia, I am not a fan! It doesn’t snow where I live but it’s still bloody cold for me {that’s usually single digits!} I could not handle living in a colder country where it snows and although your pictures are pretty, give me summer {without humidity} any day! I do prefer spring and autumn though.

    1. Yup spring and Autumn do have the perfect charm and temps πŸ˜‰ But I can understand you not liking the cold; I havent found too many people comfy with it. I dread summers and the humid weather a lot and keep dreaming of winters to get by them πŸ˜‰

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