Through Mumbai’s sweltering, suffocating Summer, I have spent many a day fantasising about rolling around in ice cold snow or being rugged up in layers of winter woolies. I have literally had dreams about it.
So I was very excited about the prospect of escaping the sauna that is a Mumbai monsoon and spending some time back in my home town of Melbourne (more on the feelings about being back home for the first time in two years in another post to come). So I went through my Bombay wardrobe and picked out the items that may just be able to make it through a Melbourne winter. At the time I was getting messages from family and friends all warning me that winter this year was brutal and I should prepare myself for the worst.
I didn’t care though, through my romanticised lens all I could think about was open fires, warm coats and long boots.
Landing in Melbourne at about 6.30am on a chilly Saturday morning I was brought right into reality. I had always been a person who loved winter, but after spending nearly two years almost entirely in about 30 degree heat (with the exception of about 2 weeks in Delhi one winter), I think my body had forgotten how to deal with the cold. Needless to say, my Bombay wardrobe of light cotton kurtas and sun dresses was completely inadequate for the big chill.
Staying with my parents, they have a lovely house with central heating. There really is no need for me to feel cold, but I think my body has acclimatised to warmer climes now and it really has struggled with the change. Luckily I found a case of old clothes that I had left behind here when I originally left for India, two long winters ago. So I now have a thick jacket, long leather boots and some thermals to keep me warm.
I still search for the heating duct in every room, but after two weeks my body is starting to feel a little more comfortable in the winter chill. And of course the best part is just how lovely it is to be able to layer myself in warm, soft, woollen clothes. I had forgotten how charming boots were and am actually now able to enjoy the thick embroidered shawl my parents gifted me from Kutch. Of course there is also the joy of a nice glass of smooth Australian red wine enjoyed whilst curled up next to an open fire.
Oh yes winters, I really have missed you.