I love winter. Don't get me wrong. I am not fond of feeling cold. It's just that I hate summer so much that by comparison winter seems so nice and cozy. Summer is when the body melts due to heat and it's torn apart by the angry claws of high temperatures, burning and searing the body just because it can boil people and their blood.

Winter is not fun necessarily but it's a bit polite and doesn't take out the pain of being unloved on innocent people who have no idea why the summer should mind so much about being disliked when it has done nothing to be loved by anyone. But there you are. Who said nature is mentally normal. It's just a plain freaking lot of loonies.

People in the colder countries like summer and warm weather zones prefer the winter. I get the feeling that the opposite attracts. But enough banter, let's push on to the main dish.

Toronto banter

I lived in Toronto Canada from 2007 to 2012 and it can be really cold as all know. However, unlike some Bangladeshis there, I didn't shiver sitting in a warm room just thinking how cold it was. I didn't feel threatened by it. My first exposure to snow for example was positive. There had been heavy snowfall the night before and in the morning the entire area became so pristinely beautiful that I never stopped loving snowfall. I also loved shoveling snow and cleaning up. Many don't, I did.

Another beautiful sight is the snow -rain. This happens in the early winter before snow falls but winter is knocking on the door. It's a normal rain but with the rain falls clumps of snow like an extra decoration for the rain which is already a beautiful sight.

The first time I saw it I was stunned by its beauty. I was at a supermarket and stood on the veranda and watched it descend with wonder. Not really just a liquid rain. I remember a Tamil refugee girl from Sri Lanka who too stood there watching it with admiration. I asked her if she had seen it before. She said that in the five years she had been in Toronto she had never seen such a sight. I felt lucky.

The Great frozen "shordi" story

But disasters happen too. I have slipped on the snow that turns into ice and fallen on the pavements and was really lucky not to have seriously hurt myself. However, the worst cold experience happened on a very cold Saturday when I stepped out of home to take a bus and go to the supermarket.

It was really cold -15-20- and the wind chill factor was another 10. So it felt like -25, the coldest day of ours in Canada. But having lived there by then for several years I was no longer afraid of the cold. I walked for about 10 minutes to the bus stop and that's when the crisis began. I missed the bus by 5 seconds. It rushed past as I just reached the bus stop.

My next mistake was not to return home. But standing there for the next bus which was due in another 15 minutes made no sense or returning home and then walking back either. If I stood there for 15 minutes I might also freeze so I decided that I would walk to the marker which was roughly fifteen minutes away.

As I began to walk on the main avenue the wind hit me. The city was going through an Arctic freeze so the wind truly chilled my face. I put a hand on my face and tried to reduce the pain which the blowing wind was causing to my face. And I kept on walking, foolishly and bravely.

In 15 minutes I was in the supermarket and the inside was very nice and very warm. And then I saw my face reflected on a mirror in the shop. All my "shordi had been diluted and sent down through my nose but had frozen. I had two long shordi icicles sticking from my nose. I touched them automatically and they fell to the floor. And as my fingers brushed my beard they broke off and fell to the ground as well. I was horrified.

My beard had frozen and on touch was breaking down like my shordi and falling to the ground. I quickly sat down on a bench inside the market and waited for my shordi and most importantly my beard to thaw before starting to buy groceries.

All these memories came to me as I grappled with Dhaka's winter last week. I even brought out some of my old Canadian warm dresses not worn since I left in 2012. And in the mirror I saw the natural white snow that had permanently taken over my beard. Memories....

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