The temperature is finally gone below 20 degrees Celsius

And for me, that is cause to celebrate by pulling out the pullovers from storage. I have a body thermostat that is acutely sensitive to cold. Or implied cold. I am the one in the sweater in the movie theatre, and with the shawl over the shoulder in case it gets colder within, to limits that three hours of sitting in one place to watch a film would need them to thaw my corpse when the lights come on after the end credits. And yes, I have got my thyroid levels checked. Normal. I am a cold blooded creature. I’m probably a reptile reincarnated. I must have been a snake in my previous life. The only explanation why I go ballistic at the sight of them in the current.

Paradoxically, I love the cold, for someone who shivers when the car airconditioning is on, and who constantly has screaming fights with the husband about the fan being on full blast, and must sleep with a thick woollen blanket pulled all over herself. In much the manner of a corpse. I am so not going to be a candidate for those Himalayan treks. I will spend all available fuel on warming myself up. But I love hillstations. In winter. Bundled up in warm clothes, with puffs of air coming from one’s breath, the crisp smell of fallen leaves and woodfires all around, the kind of crisp clear air that makes everything seem technicolour. I dont get to see much of the cold thanks to the husband who, if he could, would retire from a professional life, and get a second career as a beach bum.

For someone who lives in a warm, humid city, that only changes from summer to monsoon, I have a fabulous collection of woollens. Which, of course, I rarely get a chance to wear. Therefore, when the temperature slips to below 20 degrees Celsius, my heart starts singing. I bring out my woollens from storage and air them to rid them of the mothball smells. I think of opportunities when I can wear them out in a public situation without people around me collapsing in uncontrollable mirth or reacting by breaking into a sweat at the vision of me snug as a bug in my woollen turtlenecks.

It has always been a longstanding desire to own a black fitted leather jacket. I think the look is cool. Black leather jacket. Slim jeans and sharp high black patent leather stilletoes. The man vetoed it. He mentioned unmentionable things like perspiration doing nasty things to the molecular structure of treated leather making it, well, if I must be graphic, smell. He wasnt buying into the Ladies Dont Sweat motto. He’s seen me at my best as a fire hydrant during May, where if I sweated any more I could be a walking waterfall. Nonetheless, I have an absolutely first class collection of regular jackets and warm clothes. Even, I am embarassed to say, some argyle vests gifted to me. Some fine cable knitted oversized sweaters. A couple of front open cardigans. Many woollen turtlenecks. In case of a second Ice Age, I am stocked up with clothes. And the body fat.

Therefore, when, the other day down at the park in the evening, a cold pleasant breeze broke out, I had to be physically restrained from doing cartwheels. I was thrilled beyond words, it is starting to get cold, I declared with great joy to my fellow walkers. They looked at me strangely, mopping their sweating brows. One of them suggested that I take a sip of water. No, no, I chirped enthusiastically, it is getting cold. See, it is definitely, chilly, I pointed out. They obviously didn’t. I could see the sweat pouring off their faces and they walked brisk and determinedly around the jogging track. I could feel the cold breeze cutting through the thin cotton that I was wearing and solemnly swore to wear a sportsjacket the next day, to keep in my body heat. Wouldnt do to get attacked by hypothermia while on the daily constitutional. As I mulled over this, a blithe young thing raced past us in a racer cut vest and capri tracks. I winced. I shivered a bit looking at her. I admired her bravery. The temperature had hit 18 degrees. It was time to bring out the fleece and the flannel. Maybe she was like some of those Russian or was it Japanese folk who like to jump into freezing lakes butt nekkid in some sort of pagan celebration of the cold weather. Maybe, was it possible, that she didnt really feel the cold. Maybe, just maybe, its me who needs to get the internal thermostat checked out.


About Kiran Manral

Kiran Manral published her first book, The Reluctant Detective in 2011. Since then, she has published nine books across genres till date. Her books include romance and chicklit with Once Upon A Crush (2014), All Aboard (2015), Saving Maya (2017); horror with The Face at the Window (2016), psychological thriller with Missing, Presumed Dead (2018) and nonfiction with Karmic Kids (2015), A Boy’s Guide to Growing Up (2016) and True Love Stories (2017). Her short stories have been published on Juggernaut, in magazines like Verve and Cosmopolitan, and have been part of anthologies like Chicken Soup for the Soul, Have a Safe Journey (2017) and Boo (2017). Her articles and columns have appeared in the Times of India, Tehelka, DNA, Yowoto, Shethepeople, New Woman, Femina, Verve, Elle, Cosmopolitan, Conde Nast Traveller, DB Post, The Telegraph, the Asian Age, iDiva, TheDailyO and more. She was shortlisted for the Femina Women Awards 2017 for Literary Contribution. In 2018, she was awarded the International Women's Day award for literary excellence by ICUNR and Ministry of Women and Children, Government of India. She is a TEDx speaker and a mentor with Vital Voices Global Mentoring Walk 2017.
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28 Responses to The temperature is finally gone below 20 degrees Celsius

  1. Parul says:

    Huh? Are we living in the same city? It’s freaking HOT according to me and I need the AC all the time.

    *goes away shaking head in utter disbelief*


  2. R's Mom says: and me are the only two people in the whole of Mumbai..who can feel the temperatures falling…my hubby seems very similar to your spouse..he constantly tells me that I am nuts to say that its cold in Mumbai…I have already taken out my woollens and ready to wear them from tomorrow..wanna some company meet up with me..we will go around together in our nice wolleen warm clothes 🙂


  3. Ruchira says:

    Kiran 20 degress is NOT cold .. its warm!Its 8 degrees in delhi today and I am not yet wearing any wollens.
    Whatever would you do if u ever land up in delhi in dec- jan 🙂 Actually you should come to Delhi at that time – would give you a chance to show off your wollens !


    • Kiran Manral says:

      Ruchira: I would freeze my butt off. I think I must get my thermostat checked. The internal one. With so much insulation I should be able to survive artic winters.


  4. sscribbles says:

    Hey, Kiran. I completely agree with ruchira. A) We still are not wearing wollens in Delhi.
    B) You need to visit us so that you can give enough reasons to hubby to get you that ‘lady in black’ look.


  5. Chips says:

    That’s an impressive collection of woollens for Bombay!!

    Talking about reptiles, my husband claims I’m a cold blooded lizard! All I have to do to get him to jump in the winter is touch him with my cold hand or feet. I needed a razai in Bombay and on vacation in Texas, in the summer, needed a blanket! In my defence, the Aircon was on high and they had 2 fans on. Your Delhi readers would probably roll their eyes! I like to feel like a snug bug.


  6. shilpadesh says:

    Hehehe cold in mumbai is a joke. I used to love the idea of shivering cold and being bundled up in smart jackets and cool sweaters. I still like it, but hate what it does to my hair. They go the flat way! It is supposed to snow here this weekend and guess who is not going to get out of her house at all?


    • Kiran Manral says:

      Shilpa: I am so dying to see snow. Can you believe I’ve never seen snow in my life. My hubby says he will have to carry a portable hothouse if I want to be in a snow zone.


  7. M says:

    LOL – that is some level of delusion! So ok, my family is used to much lower levels of cold than Bombay can provide, but even I thought my heat-phobic daughter’s huge fit during our last “winter” trip to your fair city – “WHY do we ALWAYS come to India in SUMMER – it is SO HOT!!!” accompanied by heat-rash et al….was a tad excessive – I find Bbay somewhat pleasant in December, unlike the summer months, when I find it unbearable! Wear your woollens if it makes you happy….



    • Kiran Manral says:

      M: Of course I will. I love feeling all bundled up. In all fairness though, I’m rarely out of an airconditioned environment… 😉


  8. Sonia says:

    Kiran, come see me – as I type this, its starting to snow outside :)) You can wear all your woolies everyday inside and outside the house :))


  9. CA says:

    20 and you say cold??? Oh well you will have company in BP. The man waits for reasons to put on his wools … she sleeps on with 2 layers of clothing … thermals, socks and sometimes monkey cap and it is about 14 degrees here. I almost start sweating just looking at him.


  10. Average Jane says:

    I am wearing gloves..bright green ones and yes, they do make I type and it is only 10 deg in Delhi and about 20 in my office. But who cares!


    • Kiran Manral says:

      AJ: I am so so J.I have a beautiful pair of blood red suede gloves and never never have had a legit opportunity to wear them.


  11. Gypsy Girl says:

    oh Kiran! you and my hubby are alike! He’s forever feeling cold when the only reason i’m keeping my clothes on is to keep my dignity intact!!! It is so hot! He doesn’t like the AC and uses a chaddar irrespective of how hot it is.


  12. soulmate says:

    Come to Delhi and you shall have all the opportunity to wear and flaunt your lovely winter wear.. 🙂


  13. mandira says:

    bbay isnt really cold, Kiran! ok, the nights are a little chilly but the days are hot! u do live in bbay, dont u??

    u like winter? i positively haaaate it .. in fact that was the one thing i disliked about living in delhi ..hated in for 20+years.. never grew to like it.. thats why i like bbay! its always warm and sunny..except may be in the monsoon…


  14. Hema says:

    Kiran..I support you! Finally I find someone who’s thoughts are same as mine in this regard. And our husbands are similar too! It has been a little cold since this morning and when I tell this, people frown at me. I too love going to cold places provided the clothes I bear equal my actual weight! I am probably the only person in my house who covers herself in a blanket, head to toe, to sleep, throughout the year. And brawls over A/C temperature is a regular affair. Even the kid does n’t support me on this. I am so glad to have read this… Hope you get to show off your winter wear!
    BTW…Did I mention where I live…Chennai:))


  15. Urvi says:

    Kiran, I just returned from Mom’s place in Bbay. Returned to…well a place on the map of Rajasthan-Sriganganagar…and just so that you can wear your woollens without feeling too guilty (just reading the minimum temperature will make you freeze!!) the temperatures around here dip to -2 in winter (it is 5 degrees today!!) I have been born and brought up in Nagpur (in Vidarbha, which boasts of the highest temperatures in the country) and find myself in this place which figures in news for its highest as well as lowest temperatures !!
    Rajasthan State Electricity Board thrives on ppl like me who believes in testing the authenticity of the ISI mark of the blower by subjecting it to the most inhuman possible use…So, if its a vacation you are looking at to flaunt your woollens…you are welcome!! (btw you are as welcome to part with some of your turtle necks or maybe the oversized sweaters (since I’m carrying!!) to help me cope with the Harsh winters here!)

    LOL. I might just drop by.,


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