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From when I was 5, I was introduced to the wonderful world of Enid Blyton. So my childhood was strongly impressioned by the chidhood depicted in the books. The Lemonade drink in summers, the countryside drive, the Christmas carols, the clearing of snow, the Christmas carnivals! The porridge, pudding and apple pie from the childhood books replaced the gulab jamun, shrikhand and fruit custard of the real childhood in my dreams!
But the reality was starkly different. Staying in Gujarat we did not have much of a winter. We wore light woolens to school and not the snow-boots and fur coats that I read about. The images of guards sitting around bonfire on the winter nights is still fresh. There was definitely no snow! There weren't many singing carols and back then not many shops decorating for Christmas unlike now. Also we did have a Christmas vacation at school but usually would have exams just after that so much of this vacation was spent reading and revising for those!
The summers were very very hot and there was no cold lemonade which was cool enough or hygienic enough for consumption. Staying in a traffic filled hustle bustle of the city there wasn't much to cherish in cycle rides and no hill side or country side to enjoy!
Vacationing with cousins like the gang did in the books was unheard of at the age of 5-10yrs age in India at that time.
A lot of children born in the 80s can connect with this brown life and white dream!(no racist connect here please!)
All these memories came back today morning when my little sonny boy woke up and ran to the balcony. He came back looking very dissapointed. I wondered what the matter was, when he sighed aloud.."Mumma why has it not snowed for Christmas?" He had seen that in one of his school books and his favorite Peppa Pig!
So I went on to explain the difference between winters in the west and India. That places like Kashmir, Srinagar, Manali were in the northern part of India get snow, and parts where we stay are too hot to snow.
I showed him the Indian version of winter with warm clothes, parathas for breakfast, sweets like rabdis and jalebis and seasonal citrus fruits like apples, oranges and grapes. Getting our Christmas tree and decor and baking a Christmas cake is part of the weekend plan!
But what I have secretly planned for us is a visit to Snow Wonderland in the city where they are planning a Christmas carnival with artificial snow and sledges. With a candy shop and carousel and a trip to Norway to meet Santa it looks super promising. So me and sonny boy are both going to experience our White dream on Christmas Day!!
Merry Christmas Folks!