A Winter Night
Winter and summer are two important seasons. In summer people curse the heat and pray for winter. In winter their reaction is just the opposite. It is human character to wish for what is not. They are never satisfied with what they have. This year also winter came as usual, but after December 20, the weather became very cold. 25th December turned out to be the coldest day of this winter. It was Christmas Day also. So people cursed winter all the more.
Generally, I am a late riser but on this particular day I had to get up very early. It was still dark. I did not feel like getting up so early but I had to keep an appointment at 6 a.m. As the usual cold wind was blowing. Shivering and making unintelligible sounds I went to the bathroom. The water seemed colder than ice. Coming back to my room I immediately switched on the room heater and still shivering took a seat near it. Usually, I take one cup of tea and then only feel better.
But this was only for a few moments. While walking from my house to the bus stop my condition became worse. Very few people were seen on the roads, The presence of some people at the bus stop gave me some encouragement. One of them, cursing the cold told others that six persons had died in the city due to the cold wave. Just then I witnessed a strange scene. There were strange noises as if some people were weeping. The first thought that came to my mind was that somebody had died. But as the cries came nearer it turned out to be some beggars. Each one of them was clad in a dhoti only. Two of them were crying, shivering, and begging in a very pathetic voice for some clothes. I was so much moved by this that I took off my coat but as the cold pierced through my chest, I put it on again immediately. I felt for them but could not do anything. I suppose the same was the case with others. Then I remembered those who were suffering in the same 3 ways.
It seemed that the sun had gone in a hideout. The sky was covered with clouds for the whole day. People stayed indoors. It was a strange Christmas. There were no happy crowds of merrymakers. The roads looked deserted. It was 9 p.m. when I came back home. For the first time, I realised the truth of the saying “East or West, Home is best.”