If you are a resident of Kolkata, you would spend the entire year looking forward to it. Waiting with bated breath as you sweat your way to work and home, with frustration and apprehension as the monsoon drags on, with appreciative eagerness as the festive season sets it up and then it is finally on you.
The first signs are in the evening breeze cooling off and immediately like a waiting guerrilla army the woollens make their presence felt. Every resident worth his salt immediately brings out whatever warm clothing he/ she has and sets upon letting the world know that winter has arrived in Kolkata.
The new shopping malls display new winterware on their display cases, the local presence is in the form of Bhutias from the hills of Darjeeling and the craftsmen in the handicraft expos in the maidan.The maidan is filled up with teeming populace , the zoo is overcrowded enough to make the animals feel cranky, the cake shops glow in the hum of good business and suddenly the blazers, ties, pullovers are on you. Names like Nahoums and Flurys are bandied about.
Ironically, it is the period to flaunt. To flaunt your faux mink coat , your odd sized leather jacket, your ankle high leather boots, your branded cuff links, you pashmina, your knowledge of the hills, your capacity to sip wine , your knowledge about the authenticity of the 'Gur' , 'Mowa' and Nolen Gurer Sandesh, of handicrafts and even your love for books, theatre , films or fairs.
And people in the know do it fast, very fast. Because people know that the good times do not last. Like all good love affairs the expectancy period is much much more than the actual time of experience.
Then suddenly, when the Northern Hemisphere is still reeling under cold and new blasts of snowfall, sleeves start shortening , fans start moving and sweat reappearing in Kolkata.
Warm Memories of the cold remain to sustain the yearning for another 10 months.