A love letter to winter | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, November 09, 2017 / LAST MODIFIED: 11:17 AM, November 09, 2017

A love letter to winter

Dear Winter,

I perceived your arrival when the gentle chill in the air turned into biting cold and the morning fog gathered on my window glass, condensing and crashing to the sill. Your quiet footsteps didn't warn anyone of your arrival. Though there is a feeling of dread attached to your tail, I'm sure your chilling winds have silenced it. Why won't they? Your arrival itself is like a festival in my country.

I am sure I am nothing more than a blanket turner for you, but you are one of the reasons I look forward to this time of the year. Your advent sprouts many small street stalls of warm delicacies throughout the country, and when I'm walking alone at night, the bhapa pitha smell wafts from the stoves and knocks on my wallet. I see people gathering around to taste the handmade blessings you bring. The sky you turn bleak induces a shiver down my spine, and the leafless trees that line the streets add to the ghost town imagery. Yet I find it beautiful because the air reeks of burning wood and I catch a sight of amber fire baptizing some people wrapped in shawls under the sickly sky. 

I strongly believe it is only you who skyrockets the sales of badminton rackets and shuttlecocks in our country. This is literally the only sport that I'm a bit more than average at. Cornering myself from my athletic peers for most of the year, this is the time when I actually get to enjoy playing. And you always make sure that I can flaunt my skills. An extra dose of gratitude for that.

It would be an injustice to your splendour if I forget to pen down the biye bari chronicles. The calendar is dominated by wedding schedules from relatives one knows and ones never heard of. I believe the flickering wedding lights, blowing trumpets, flower-clad cars, and of course, the food - a quintessential reason for attending weddings, complement you. 

While I grew up a non-vegetarian, the thought of shoving vegetables of whatever nutritional value they hold down my oesophagus sickened me to my core. But of course, your entrance magically makes the smell of vegetables being cooked mouth watering, and I become an occasional vegetarian. Many households come under the clutches of the scents of vegetables blended with spices - thanks to the boon you pass upon our rural lands with your frosty hands. 

As cold as you might be, or as lifeless as you might turn the landscapes into, you tempt the foreign birds with diverse feathers, beaks, crowns, and colours to follow your trail. They nestle themselves in the leafless, skeletal trees, and their songs become a soothing wakeup call. 

Since I have a bucket full of hot water and a cosy spot with an Agatha Christie book waiting for me, I'll end my letter here.


A speck of your lovers 

Shah Tazrian Ashrafi believes winter has come and so has his anxiety. Send him gorom pani and SolayMUN Shukhone speeches at facebook.com/shahtazrianashrafi

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