Winter sets in finally
Yes, on this 22nd of December afternoon, I can start confidently saying that winter has really settled here in Calcutta, my home town in the Eastern part of our country, India. While winter had come much earlier in the further Northern part of India, which is currently under severe cold spells with heavy snow falls in the upper reaches of the Himalayas, winter generally settles here in Calcutta in this beautiful festive time of December. Winter’s being one of my favorite seasons for various reasons, obviously I am excited that the chill in the air brings much comfort to the residents here from the scorching summer days, and lots of lovely days filled with the winter charms.
Highlights of Winter here in my home place
Yes, the winter wears are finally out of the closet 🙂 The windows of the houses in the neighborhoods are keeping closed to keep the chilly winds at bay. The cake shops are gearing up with their delicious fares to bring the savories to the tables of the average households. The entertainment and hospitality establishments are gearing up with their hugely planned big bashes of Christmas and New year knocking on the door. The highways are getting jammed with people driving out with families and friends to nearby locations outside the city for their picnic outings, and trust me, here in Bengal, the picnics are huge affairs as the crowds keep growing bigger and bigger :):) As winter vacations start for school kids, they have a gala time in this season in various ways, from the visits to the zoological gardens, to the science parks, to the book fairs, to their favorite shopping destinations, to the cake shops, to the dream vacations and many more, winter season remains as their most sought after vacations to let the hair down and enjoy. As Christmas and New year is already around the corner, winter shopping, particularly festive shopping is in full swing, particularly in the New Market area, which I have been visiting since my childhood days, to the famous iconic S. S. Hog market, very much in the same lines as the Grand Bazaar of Istanbul. The best part of this market is the famous cake shop of Nahouns, famous for its pastries too.
So, you see, for these such various reasons, winter is so very much attractive in this part of the world, where the winter is not too bitter, but comfortable, enjoying and really satisfying. I have stayed in different parts of the country due to jobs, and have experienced winter much bitter, but I have always enjoyed the Calcutta winters 🙂
Foggy winter morningsEarly mornings in Calcutta are dreamy, cold, fog filled, and perfect to get a look at the beautiful skyline, while doing your morning walks or jogging, in fact. And coupled with some warm cups of tea or coffee, any morning drive along the open parks and play grounds in the heart of the city is an absolute beautiful one.
City's iconic skylineVictoria Memorial is the royal remembrance of the history of Calcutta since the early era when it was the erstwhile capital of india made by the British East India Company. The Queen’s Memorial is a significant iconic landmark of the city and attracts huge number of tourists during the winter season.
Winter streets desertedEarly winter mornings when visibility stands low, the city buses ply on their usual journeys daily, and they form one of the most important lifelines for the residents.
Yes, in this cold season, there are these occasional rains that add to the dreamy look the city takes up. Not before very long, just few days back, we had some really heavy rains here in the city, taking the temperature further down. Being on the coastal side of the eastern part of the country and with Bangladesh on the border, the city is subjected to various low pressure areas in the Bay, which results in cloudy skies, with outbirsts of rain, sometimes continuing for days. Autumn generally stays till October to November in this part of the country, and may continue to the onset of the winters as well.
While talking about Autumn and winter rains, I remember two days back my good friend and fellow blogger Rachael tagged me with the Autumn tag through her post. The conceopt is nice and first time for me, so I will try to answer all the questions posted by Rachael. And for the nomination or tagging part, I will leave it open for anybody to take up the tag and do the post. Kindly visit Rachael’s blog to see her wonderful creations.
Autumn Tag and Winter
Yes, Autumn is a beautiful period too, which culminates in the winter and takes us away from the wet rainy season. This change is very visible here in our part of the world too, as the leaves start falling, the chill slowly starts to enter the nights and make them longer, while the daylight stays for the shorter duration of the day, clearly indicating the onset of the winter. And to talk about my experiences in Autumn through a Q&A session in Rachael’s autumn tag will be interesting, so let’s get on with it 🙂
- What Autumn signifies to you – Since I love winter, as you already know by now, Autumn is what leads me to it, the colors, the sudden change in the temperature, the smell of the fresh air and the leaves falling making their sounds, Autumn is the real game changer for me.
- What is the best way to spend a rainy day – For me, the best way I like to spend my rainy days is listen to some nice music, have some nice coffee and just watch the rains fall from my windows, nothing beats that.
- What is your most fond Autumn memory – I remember few years ago I visited the hills of Nainital, Ranikhet in the Himachal area of Northern India during Autumn. We went to this remote hill station called Chakauri. The first night we were there, it started raining, I could still remember the sound of the heavy raining on the rooftops of our hotel, and that was the only hotel in that area, and the rains falling in the surrounding hills and plains were heard throughout the night. The next morning i woke up to find the most beautiful rainbow I can see on the hills, and the entire area was lush green with raindrops on the leaves and the wet surroundings, and it was bitterly cold. Enjoyed that to the fullest.
- What is your most favorite Autumn scent – Quite difficult to say among the fragrances I use. So, I will pick up the scent of a Tibetan incense I picked up at Dalai Lama’s monastery in Dharamsala, India, for my favorite Autumn fragrance, as the scent is heavenly and fills up my house whenever I burn it.
- What are you most excited about this Autumn – Since Autumn is already gone, I was excited about the festive months coming, about the fairs, the music, the food and the best movies to watch.
- What is your favorite Autumn song – Hard to pick this one too. But, will not hesitate to say, that Bruce Hornsby’s classic Mandolin Rain, will always be my favorite 🙂
- What is your favorite Autumn film – I really don’t have any particular favorite film for Autumn, but if any film I would pick which I see repeatedly in any season, it will be Mississippi Burning.
- Which TV shows you look forward this Autumn – I am waiting for the next season of Homeland, without any doubt.
- What is your favorite Autumn color – There are several actually, deep bottle green, navy blue, deep maroon and deep purple 🙂
- What is your favorite Autumn Fashion trend – Very simple, cool jeans and some lovely deep colored T’s.
- Name on place you wish you could visit during Autumn – There will be two places, one is Kerala back waters, and the other is the beautiful hill station of Cherrapunji, which records the world’s highest rainfall, and that’s a sight to really watch for.
- What is your favorite photo you took last Autumn – Regret to say that I didn’t take any.
- What are you being this Halloween – Well, it is not usually celebrated here in India as in the West, so, I missed that 🙂
Calcutta, in winter, a must visit
Loved talking about my favorite season, winter, and that I will wish winter to stay for a longer time in my home state. Among all the lovely experiences you can have if you visit Calcutta at this time of the year, you will enjoy the sun as you will enjoy the soft winter chill, lots of good foods, Christmas and New Year celebrations, lots of parties, and hang outs. And i would love to visit many other places during winter to experience the different sights and sounds in the chill.