Blow, blow, thou winter wind
Thou art not so unkind,
As man's ingratitude.
This is the onset of winters. When you live in Kashmir, every single time you see snow it is magical. Watching the snowflakes waltz their way from the heavens is surreal. It appears like a soft cross between sheer fantasmo and nature at her best. Though I am away from home, both in distance and time, I still love the chill about winters. Nothing strokes my spirits more than the nip in winter airs. In Delhi, the cold season lasts a little less than four months. It is cosy, warm and it smells of coffee wafts. And love. There is a certain slant of light about winter afternoons -- that oppresses, like the heft of cathedral tunes.
For some archaic reason, I feel alone as the frigid winds blow quietly outside. Last night, I came home and silently crept into my bed. I closed the door behind. I had no particular reason for my bareness. Sometimes in the silence of our hearts we listen to the odd mystic song of our life. I tried to listen to mine. I know no one would ever follow me; no one would come and stay. One by one, I appeared to take off my stupid desires. In my outstretched palm, they flickered for a while and then disappeared. I blew out all the candles, and the cold, calm night seemed both familiar and reassuring.
Curiously enough I had an impish dream overnight. I can only share little details here. It was like one of those many quick urgent dreams that overlap as you try to recount them next morning. My winter dream was a calm solace. Someone affectionately cuddled me. Told me that I am foolish to feel that there is no love left in the world. That I’m only enduring what is called the test of time. That I need to be cheerful. I tried to reason. Why? Why the rigorous endurance? There was a studied, elegant silence and then a tiny advisory: If you try, even you can control your emotions. But I don’t want to, I wanted to say. I didn't. They say any emotion, if it is sincere, is involuntary.
Alexander the great was badly wounded during one of his fierce battles -- on his India conquest -- in the fourth century. The Macedonian king later recalled that he had had brief visions of everything he held sacred and beloved during his semi-conscious, mooning state: Vales with crimson flowers, a white robed Aristotle, familiar streets of Macedonia, his mom Olympias and ofcourse the countless naughty treks with Haephastion. It has occurred to kings and folks over hundres of years. The reveries almosy always transcend time.
My dream broke shortly before dawn. My World Space radio was still blaring. I got up, switched it off. I walked upto the window. I peeked out. There were no stars. A fine rain was falling. I slipped back into my feathered quilt. Trying to unbelong. Nowhere can man find a quieter or more untroubled retreat than in his own soul!
Ah! The warmth of winter bed.