Predictable Patterns

Friday, November 17, 2023

One of the few constants since the pandemic began, or rather pre-pandemic has been around the weather. For all the chatter in the world around climate change and how we can witness the effects trickling into our day-to-day, I raise you my familiar winter cycle, that's neither a day late nor early. 

Period-0, Weather in Delhi-1.

Winter officially sets in Delhi (for me) from November 14, when the fan on the top speed feels chilly but no fan feels stuffy. You don't need the air conditioner for the workout (even though you feel like death in the last 1 minute of your jumping jacks in the intense training program) and you no longer want to prance around in cotton shorts. You start window shopping for faux leather bombers and wonder if this will be the year when you invest in a Shacket (if I ever do, please feel free to ban my blog and never come back, I need a reality check). 

Winter also runs out fairly quickly (something under 100-105 days) by February 18. You feel the need to retire the tight sweaters and stuffy body-hugging polos. While the rest of the country takes another month, I am usually done by February 16 and bring back the air conditioning from Feb 24 for workouts. 

Now, I can't remember (for the life of me) if this was the same case in 2016-2019 but I do remember every fucking winter since 2020. Every fucking day of those 100+ days in the last three years is embedded in my memory, imprinted and sealed for life, perhaps. 

It's been cold, really fucking icy and chilly through those three Winters. I've spent far too many days dolling up to feel something other than grief, depression and borderline intrusive thoughts. I've tried to fight every demon with RSVPing yes to plans I wouldn't usually attend. I've spent long nights tearing up, writing long paragraphs and second-guessing all the times I pulled myself away. Sometimes I've gotten carried away from even saving those out and instead sending them, and been reminded over the Summer that those have been some memorable works of art (though I can't say everyone who's ever received a long email from me will have the same opinion).  

Three years ago, we marked Winter with the new season of the Crown at a public parking lot where I spent more time than I'd like to admit. Earlier today, when the winter breeze slapped my face in the same spot, I felt deja vu, like I was about to go through the same cycle again. However, there's one notable difference. 

I'm a lot calmer. 

It's like, the person I imagine consoling my younger self to be better and strive to be, I'm there. I spend all my waking hours walking towards my goals, tending to make life fulfilling and in pursuit of that, I find even writing tedious. This is probably the longest writing break I've had when I'm productive otherwise. I spend my time reading, watching and occasionally flirting with the man of the season (I've found a marvelous heartbreak for Fall-Winter '23). I catch up on things low-key, retire to my cocoon and find everything I need there. For the most part, peace lies in the predictability of movement. I've got my back; I've warded every single element out which I felt wouldn't align with my expectations and I've constantly tried to face my fears while doing that. I found myself in a familiar place where entering the apartment complex choked me but not without support. There were dogs, friends and friends like family to handhold me through moments I never thought I'd survive or live to try. 

I'm getting distracted by texts midway (and I'd never tolerate this shit, but it's Winter and we all need someone to hold on to and cuddle with), but everything about the days to follow will be predictable. Days will get shorter, my calm self will get pissed and by January, I'll be so unhinged that I'll intersperse crying with saying yes to all possible events and styling my hair in more ways than I can probably count, that is if situations remain predictable. 

The way in which our world moves and lives are shaped is not inherently controlled by us. The apolitical bunch on dating apps wouldn't know but for those of us who do, we are one inflammatory remark or action away from a full-blown crisis at all given times and 100+ days are a lot to challenge for predictability if the world is unkind to infants on the basis of their geographical location and passport details. 

What I'm saying is, I'm not looking forward to the Winter and I definitely don't want to write. I want to hide in my bedroom with my book and park myself to only respond to 5 people (including my employer because we all need capital). 

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