Your Memoirs – “Snow!”

It was my first winter in Glasgow. The snow was yet to arrive.

The snow did arrive, in drifts.

I had been chauffeured around in Madras, now I had to fend my way in swirling snow in a cold Glasgow, on buses and public transport. Snow was beautiful. The feel of the snowflakes falling on my skin was gentle, like a caress. The touch of a snowflake melting in my grasp was wonderful. I even tasted the melted snow in my hand, cold and lovely, its beauty was overwhelming.

A snowball fight between kids or young adults made me crouch in fear. I was still getting used to walking without slipping on ice.

I was young and ready to try anything. I even ventured into the Swiss Alps for a skiing trip organised for school kids, in the school where I was teaching. The trip was for a week and I stayed in the nursery slopes still trying to master the snowplough as the young kids whizzed past me and moved on to the higher slopes.

Skiing in the snow seemed such an alien concept to me and often had to pinch myself that I was there in the pristine snow-clad Alps. I fell more than I skied but it was a wonderful experience for me. I visited an uncle who was with the United Nations and he introduced me to Raclette, a cheese fondue dish I had not tasted in Madras.

Winters in Glasgow would have a few snowfalls, usually in the months of January or February of most years. Frost, icy pavements were common during winter and I had got used to them. Warm clothing and heavy winter boots made sure that I could cope fine with the snow and ice.

Holidays in Madras during the summer break at school was the norm and I found that the heat and humidity hard to bear. One could wrap up against the cold but heat was so draining.

What a change for a girl from Madras to say that the summer in Madras was unbearable?

Submitted by Leela Soma, 73, Milngavie

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