The days get colder, and the memories of monsoon/autumn start to fade away. The cold season brings back so many warm memories. Winter was such a magical time to be a child.

They say that memories of certain scents stay with you for a lifetime. The familiar whiff of smoke arising from the bonfire in a stranger’s yard, the fragrance of eucalyptus oil and camphor from various cold medicines, the aroma of warm turmeric milk before bedtime, the mouthwatering sweet smell of hot chocolate, all reminds me of winter.

As soon as November set in, winter clothes were all taken out from the dusty bottoms of the closet, washed and pressed, ready to be worn over the next few months. Man! The simple good old days! Back then even a trivial piece of clothing such as a sweater was a big source of entertainment! Comparing each other’s sweaters in school to see which one was the prettiest was a common passtime during breaks. Some tough kids would even engage in challenges to see who would last the longest in the cold without wearing a sweater.

Though I must argue, the best part about winter is probably the bone-biting cold weather. For you can curse it all through December, but you’ll be sure to miss it when the sultry summer comes around. I remember distinctly, standing at the bus stop, blowing out puffs of air resembling smoke. Every kid I knew did this. It was so amusing to watch the smoky air come out of your mouth — we pretended to be dragons breathing out smoke from our lungs! The hardest thing was perhaps waking up to the dark cold morning and getting dressed to go to school. But even the pain of getting out of your warm comfy bed into the bitter cold mornings was compensated later by the crisp sunshine and the bright blue sky. Who can forget the feel of the warm fuzzy sunshine on a cold winter afternoon later in the day?

Winter, a season that brings the need for warmth and comfort along with it — is a season that brings people close together. Well, that was definitely true back in school. Sitting so close to one another, holding hands, huddled up with school bags on our laps, we tried every possible way to conserve heat. But even after all that effort, we still somehow managed to catch a cold. Kids running around with a runny nose is a standard scene during winters.

It would be a sin if I didn’t mention the most essential part of winter — the food! From comforting holiday meals to seasonal sweet custard-apples, roasted peanuts, steamed sweet potatoes, mmhmmmh yum! We kids were constantly hungry all through the winter.

Winter was also the time to curl up in blankets, studying for the approaching exams, occasionally taking breaks to play or watch TV. I just love all the Christmas specials on TV. Christmas and New Year add to the good vibes and make winter more enjoyable.

Last, but certainly not the least, there is something so blissful about the memory of coming home from the chill outdoors at the end of a school day, snuggling up with a cup of hot chocolate, watching cartoons with no worries — the sense of freedom was palpable — all of which now seems like a distant snow globe dream in time. All I can hope for the returning winter is to help me rediscover new memories while remembering the old favorites.