The Many Benefits of a Harsh Winter
[This article was published in today's Times of India, Crest Edition. An e-version is available here.]
This winter I have spent a lot of my free time sitting in front of the computer thinking of writing, but just haven’t been able to take my hands out of my pockets. It’s been so damn cold. Entire weekends have been spent doing nothing. I’ve felt like a lazy babu at a government office. Or a policeman. I mean, these days my hands are so cold most of the time that I could instantly freeze a glass of milk with a mere touch. It’s like a poor man’s version of the Midas touch.
This may be the severest cold wave in a long time but the horrible weather does spark off an innumerable number of excellent possibilities. If one thinks about it, the biting cold is awesome, as long as you can manage to not die from it.
Imagine you are traveling in rush hour traffic, listening to a nice, classy Bollywood song like Fevicol or Chikni Chameli on the radio, the heater is blowing heavenly, warm air in your face, when suddenly there is a loud sound and a car crashes into yours. Your normal instinct is to get out of the car, grab the offending driver by the collar and beat him up while singing praises of the ladies in his family, before eventually shooting him dead. But you don’t do that. Why? Because who will get out in this bitter cold and risk getting frozen to death instead? You just happily show him a finger, and move on. The road-rage problem solved in an instant. If we could have the cold persist for the full year, there would be no more violence on our roads. I say this alone makes the cold a strong contender for the Nobel peace prize.
Another great thing is all the layers of clothing most of us are wearing these days. A warm inner-wear. A shirt. Two sweaters. Maybe three in some cases. A thick jacket. A muffler. This is great on so many levels. First, it helps our textile industry. Second, all that cloth could easily act as bullet proof armor, just in case you end up getting shot by a neighbor over a parking dispute. Also on the theme of crime, as many of our leaders would tell us, with our women fully covered up in layers of clothing, instances of sexual violence would reduce dramatically. Pondicherry was already thinking of making women wear overcoats as a rape deterrent. Last, and most important, nobody is thin or fat anymore. We are all equally hidden under the layers of warm clothing. Our men and women can eat freely. No more gyms. No more worrying about looking like Kareena or John Abraham if we all look like Sajid and Farah Khan. This is like socialism for our bodies.
Thanks to the cold, there is no need to take a bath everyday, which is great for young boys and bachelors. Win-win situation overall, as it promotes sales of deodorants, thereby giving a boost to our industry, and we also end up saving previous fresh water. Another industry that benefits is the medical one. This would be a good time to invest in stocks of companies that manufacture cough syrup and antibiotic medicines.
This weather is also great for husbands, because if the wife asks them to do anything over the weekend, saying that it is too cold to go outside and breaking into a shivering spell produces great results. You can happily laze around watching WWE or History channel all day and the wife won’t take you to task.
The weather works well for our politicians as well. Who will go out to shout slogans in this cold? No more protests on the streets. No more need to shut down Delhi metro stations. I suspect their cold weather is the reason Canada is one of the most peaceful countries in the world. Then there are easy points and photo-ops for the taking, for resourceful politicians. They just need to buy a dozen blankets, distribute them to some homeless people and win instant points for the next election. Works out much cheaper than strategic projects to reduce the number of poor and homeless people that would cost much more.
Now if only we could get mangoes in the winter, there would be no need for summer anymore.