I hate winters. Why? Here’s the story behind the hatred. I loved winter once upon a time because I could stay in when it’s too cold and play board games with all my friends and eat buttery popcorn and watch the rain from my window. At nights, it meant tight cuddle from mom and infinite layers of blankets and warm bed. But one unfortunate night, I had a terrible, wicked dream. I remember the dream nightmare crystal clear because it was winter in the nightmare too. And I’m eternally scared that this nightmare might come true.
The nightmare – There were square, orderly, hulky, monstrous and colossal ice cubes everywhere. And mantles of snow. I think, I saw the Titanic movie that night. In a whole, the ice cubes together formed a maze. Since, my nightmare was made of ice cubes it was extremely cold (brrrrrr). I couldn’t find my way home too. Preposterously, I happen to lose my blanket. Then I sit on the ice-floor and weep asking the ice God for a blanket but ice God is too mean and chesty to grant me at least a diaphanous linen. Without a blanket, I just sit there watching my tears turn into ice before they hit the floor, my bones become raw and eventually the snow swallows me. This was the saddest and the most dreadful nightmare ever.
When I was 13 (an assumption because I could’ve been 14 too), it was the worst winter. The severity of that winter was too much to endure. Worse – my mom chose that week to visit my relatives. But I caught fever and had dry, sore throat (I couldn’t speak a word. Just air came out of my mouth) so my mom went alone to our native place. That left my dad and me. My dad is someone who doesn’t know where the water is kept at the kitchen or how to light on the stove or I’m not sure if he knows that we do have a kitchen. I got very hungry. They say, when sick, the appetites are scrimpy and exiguous. But I was always different. I craved for food especially mom’s popcorn and some hot soup with extra pepper and chili.
With my speechless, airy voice – I asked dad for popcorn and he mistook it for ice cone. He asked, “Ice cream venumaa?” You want ice cream? I declined with a shake of my head. My dad thought it was a nod. He asked me to wait. After 10 minutes, I got my ice cream. My head was already threatening to split open, my eyes perpetually watered, my bones looked disoriented and shivered and shook but I wanted that ice cream. My dad pitied me so he said, “eat it after some time, now eat the medicines and rest.” I agreed and the ice cream was stashed safely in the refrigerator freezer. I gulped and swallowed the abominably bitter syrups and medicines. The drugs worked on my empty stomach. I slept. And then came the blasted, damn infernal nightmare again. That ice cubes one where I get engulfed by the snow!
But this time I got up before the snow ate me up. In the next room, my dad was fast asleep. The inner-voice said, “Now or never. Eat the ice-cream to hark back from the nightmare to reality.” Yes, everything looked like ice cubes. So I took out the box silently and scooped out a small portion and gobbled it. Brain-freeze. Plus, I had a blocked nose then. First, talking problem now breathing problem also. I had an idiosyncrasy to boil the ice cream and drink it. It was vanilla flavoured. I switched on the stove and boiled it. It got too hot. Without further thought, I turned to the freezer, took some ice cubes and popped them into the vanilla-liquid then I looked at the ice cubes in the glass that melted and I cried. It was very hard to cry because 1) my windpipe was out-of-order and 2) I couldn’t make any sound, I mean it didn’t come so it sounded like heavy breathing.
Why did I cry? Because the ice cubes looked exactly like the ones in my nightmare, very pale and very limpid and very real. My dad might have heard my labored breathing because next he was taking me to my room. I swear, I don’t know how but in my palm was a couple of ice cubes and I was holding them to my forehead. Great, now the nightmare can come real. Since I cried, my fever got insufferable. My vision started getting blotchy and blurry. It was horrible. I couldn’t sleep, was very hungry, wanted to so badly talk and was worn-out. Owing to my hunger, I wanted to make soup. Thankfully, we had a packet of Knorr tomato soup. I boiled it and with my wonderfully hazy vision, I added a lot of sugar instead of salt to the soup and put some bitter grey matter in lieu of powdered pepper. The soup was repelling that my appetite vanished. But it looked very opulent and royal! Later, while my dad had lunch he mistook the soup (that I forgot to cast aside) for rasam! And he too, lost his appetite.
I got better and all after a weeks’ time but during winter/rain my mind automatically tunes to ice cubes and liquid vanilla and fever and irresistible lust for good soup and ugh nightmares with snow and maze and a demonic ice God. This nightmare still haunts me when I’m too beat-up and fatigued. And the nightmare often drifts in front of my eyes during Math exams. Thank God, I’m done with schooling for life.