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Winter Blues

White blankets of snow cover the grass, winter is here!

Tiny particles of snow shimmer like diamonds in the sun, winter is here!

Tiny tots confront the chill, their cheek resemble red apples, winter is here!

Harsh torturing winds, howling sounds at night, winter is here!

Ice-covered cars and slushy streets, winter is here!

Parents heating cars, before driving kids to school, winter is here!

Parka, boots, hats with pompom, mitts become your friends, winter is here!

Heaters, sinuses, infections, and allergies, winter is here!

Snow-covered roofs and backyards, winter is here!

Long nights, short days, winter is here!

When the sun is so bright outside and the weatherman says, its-25 deg, winter is here!

Ice skating, snowboarding, tobogganing, snowman, snow angels fun for kids, winter is here!

Canadian winter; while its feet of snow outside; you sit in the centrally heated house in a half T-shirt. The sun looks so bright from the window and allures you to go outside and have fun but as soon as you open the door, the wind-chill freezes your nose. The houses, cars, offices, and schools everything is heated. If you have to walk a little bit, snow jackets, mittens, scarves, hats, parkas are a must. Wind-chill is always higher than the normal temperature that can even freeze your teeth when you open your mouth. No matter how many layers you wear, if you decide to stay outdoors for more than an hour, the chill still pricks your skin to make you so cold.

Winter in Canada is much depressing, as you try to be indoors. Days are shorter and you don't get to socialize as much as you did in summers. It depends on; sometimes it snows a lot in Toronto and sometimes not that much. In 2014, we had 5 feet of snowbanks with the temperature dropping to -45 deg. with wind-chill; we broke several weather records in the winter of 2013-2014.

Schools are not closed in the winter months, except the 2 weeks break that we get during Christmas and New Years'. When I landed here, I always thought, why they would not close the school, it's so cold. But now I've realized the point, if the schools are closed, what would the children do?? They cannot go outside, their parents are both working. The childcare will dramatically increase and also the problems of parents are to keep the children busy indoors. Until there is no announcement of bad weather due to road conditions, schools are never closed and they always announce it on TV at 4 o'clock in the morning, not before that. The children play outside in the school every day unless it's more than -25 degrees. This helps them get used to the weather while staying active. Unless there's anything major, everything goes on like the regular routine, and nothing stops in winter. Canada is well equipped to handle it.

Winter in India on the other hand is totally different. The Sun that seems to be burning us in summer, warms the bones and skin. People are more social on winter days as ladies sit outside for hours exposing their face in the Sun, chatting with friends and family while peeling the peas or knitting the sweater.

If you change your mind, be careful there is a lot of wind blowing indoors, it's damn freezing inside. Jaggery, Peanuts, fresh oranges, fresh red long carrots, and seasoned green vegetables bring good health for all. You can digest anything heavy you eat in winter and gain strength to bear summer, my mom always said. Sitting in the comforter for hours while chatting with the relative when they visit you, winter in India has its own charm.

When the day is well spent outdoors in the sun, the night is the same, hiding under the layers of blankets and making sounds from the mouth. Winter is the time when you need more and more excuses to make a cup of ginger tea, sometimes for a neighbor and sometimes for a friend. Layers are your friends, along with scarves and mittens. I miss Indian winter and those red long carrots. While I adore Canadian winter beauty, I also miss beautiful days spent in India with friends and family.