I was never a fan of staying outdoors in extreme cold conditions. I was never a huge fan of walking in the rain. Sitting by the window and watching the raindrops with a cup of tea and a book in hand, yes. But never understood what people experienced when they spread out their arms and swayed in slow motion to the rain.

But for the first time, I longed to stay more outside. For the first time, I didn’t mind that my hands had gone numb beyond recognition. For the first time, I smiled so wide even when I found it difficult to flex my facial muscles.

It was my first snow.

Last year I read reports of Heathrow airport’s flight disruptions due to massive snowfall. This year, I read reports of snow in Punjab, India but nothing in London. I had a penchant for bringing with me bad luck, and I was not surprised at this turn of events. I expected a snowy Christmas, a white New Years, but it didn’t materialise.

But as months flew.. February rolled in. It brought along with it freezing cold temperatures that made my mother in the desert lands of Bahrain shiver in fright. For the first time, it was predicted that it would snow on 4th February.

While I would usually be prancing around in my ballerina flats with no socks, on Saturday, some weird programmed part of me grabbed my warmer socks and shoes. I had completely forgotten about the weather predictions, it was just the sane part of my brain working to keep my body safe.

I left into the city at about 5pm and I got the first gist of what it would look like then. The initial flakes looked just like ash from a badly maintained factory nearby. And as it came down, I scampered to dust my coat clean. It picked up speed, and I found it difficult to even take a few steps forward, because it kept getting into my eye. And being the klutz that I am, walking without seeing is a recipe for disaster.

I was indoors for the next three hours working on an assignment. Little did I know that when I came out the ground would be covered in nearly four inches snow and everything from sign posts to cars and trees would have turned a brilliant shade of white.

Familiar lanes that I walk through every day morphed dramatically. Northwick Park, where my flatmates and I once reclined to enjoy a feisty Sunday Sun, had turned into a vast expanse of a milky white ocean. All of it just made me laugh out loud with incredulity.

And as I neared my apartment, waiting to get some much desired heat into my toes, I snuck my hand into my bag digging out my eyes. But when I looked up, a full snowball hit me right on my face. What ensued was a fierce snow fight between my lovely flatmates, all of them turning into quasi-Tarzans, screaming and beating their chests in snowball warfare!

We then moved onto the most important part: building my first snowman. To say that I sucked would be a major understatement. Thankfully, I had a resident Canadian, who’s lived his life in -20 temperatures and has grown up building snowmen.

After nearly two hours of rolling, patting (yes, I had to pat my snowman’s ass to make it firm and taut), more rolling and sacrificing my scarf, he was here.

My first snowman.

And what did we call him?

Moriarty.

 

 

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