Are you one of those people who is affected by the seasons?
Does Winter make you gloomy and depressed?
SAD or Seasonal Affective Disorder is a syndrome that affects many people during Winter. It makes them depressed and lethargic because of the short days and insufficient daylight.
I remember feeling extremely sad and out of sorts during my winter stay in New Jersey. No amount of scented candles, exotic teas and pretty snowflakes could shake off the mild depression that had gripped my mind.
But today, even though it’s Winter, I’m not sad.
And here are the reasons why :
While it’s winter in the Northern Hemisphere, the weather in Mumbai is only marginally cooler than normal. So while the rest of the world where winter is real, my Seasonal Affective Disorder is not one which leaves me sad. On the contrary, winter in Mumbai actually makes me glad.
I am glad because the flamingoes are back.
Did you know that these birds visit Mumbai every Winter? You can see them at the Sewri Flats.
This is also the season when the migratory seagulls stop by Mumbai on their way to Siberia. You can see them lined up in the Marine Drive sea face mid-morning or even flapping around the Gateway or Chowpatty Beach waiting for scraps of food to come their way.
In fact, these birds get so hooked on to the ‘gathia’ fed to them by the local populace that they stay on in Mumbai long after winter and sadly succumb to heat when the summer comes.
(So last year in a citizen initiative undertaken by many schools, Wow Dinga and his mates were taken to the beach to stop Mumbaikars from feeding the birds.
He came home most excited with this campaign and even today when he spots a person with a plastic bag on the beach goes up to him and tells him NOT to feed them gathia! )
When I see the Tibetan Sweater sellers, down at Nana’s Chowk, I know it’s time to bring out my Winter wardrobe. I can hardly wait to bring down all those gorgeous scarves and shawls waiting in my cupboard.
Nor can I stop myself from airing out my silks.
My favourite shopping destination Bhaji Gulley is full of tempting seasonal greens like green garlic, and mustard leaves. It’s also time for vegetables like kohlrabi, green peas and beets to find their way to my table.
And as for fruit: there are tonnes to choose from. You can grab a juicy orange or two or a basket of fat, strawberries. This is also the time for the sweetest melons, chickoo and grapes.
Winter is the time when overseas visitors come home. Their brief visits mean hectic socialisation which translates into party time with friends and family.
I’ve already had a formal reunion with my college friends and caught up with the intervening years. With more school friends scheduled to come before the summer sets in, I have more happy days coming up.
So I am glad for the Winter
because my life is full
With cups of hot tea
And fresh juicy oranges.
Naps in the sun
Cuddles under blankets.
Hazy, chilled mornings
And stiff evening breezes.